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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 17–21 | Cite as

Tobacco Access to Youth: Beliefs and Attitudes of Retailers

  • Ronald A. DovellEmail author
  • David L. Mowat
  • John Dorland
  • Miu Lam
Article

Abstract

Results of a telephone survey provide insights into the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of tobacco merchants from two local health units. More than 90% of the retailers said they should not be able to sell cigarettes to minors. They are aware of laws prohibiting such sales but are sceptical about the impact on young people. The majority report being motivated to help protect the health of youth, however, they advise that legislation provides the main reason for not selling cigarettes to minors. Other responses and behaviours of the merchants help provide a profile of an important group that is being asked to stop selling tobacco to young people.

The authors classify the retailers into three groups according to the potential influence on their behaviour of messages about health and threats of enforcement. One of the health units had implemented a local intervention, therefore we also compare responses between the two health units. This type of information can be used when selecting strategies to strengthen health policies. Such policies and strategies should include input and feedback from retailers of tobacco.

Résumé

Un sondage téléphonique permet de mieux comprendre les connaissances, attitudes et croyances des vendeurs de tabac face à la vente de cigarettes aux mineurs. Plus de 90 % des vendeurs convrant les territoires de deux unités sanitaires ont indiqué que selon eux, il devrait être interdit de vendre des cigarettes aux mineurs. Les vendeurs sont au courant des lois qui présentement interdisent cette pratique mais ils/elles doutent de leurs impacts auprès des jeunes. La plupart des vendeurs indiquent que la santé des jeunes les préoccupe. Ils avisent cependant que la loi est leur raison principale pour ne pas vendre de cigarettes aux mineurs. Des données additionnelles obtenues lors du sondage permettent l’élaboration d’un profil de ces vendeurs à qui l’on demande de ne pas vendre de cigarettes aux mineurs.

Trois catégories de vendeurs sont identifiées selon l’influence potentielle que pourraient avoir les menaces de poursuites judiciaires et les messages concernant la santé sur leur comportement. Puisqu’une des unités sanitaires avait mis en oeuvre une intervention locale, les résultats du sondage sont examinés selon le territoire desservi par les vendeurs. Ce genre d’information peut influencer le choix de stratégies pour renforcer les politiques de santé. Celles-ci doivent tenir compte des suggestions obtenues par les vendeurs de tabac.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald A. Dovell
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Mowat
    • 2
  • John Dorland
    • 3
  • Miu Lam
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Health Promotion ResearchUniversity of British ColumbiaKingstonCanada
  2. 2.KFL&A Health UnitCanada
  3. 3.Health Policy UnitQueen’s UniversityCanada
  4. 4.Community Health & EpidemiologyQueen’s UniversityCanada

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