Poster Paper: Revisiting Compliance Inspections of Tobacco Retailers and Youth Tobacco Use

Thursday, November 8, 2018
Exhibit Hall C - Exhibit Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Bo Feng and Michael Pesko, Georgia State University

We evaluate the effect of the first six years of the Food and Drug Administration’s compliance check program, which includes underage buyer “sting” inspections, on youth cigarette purchasing patterns and tobacco use. Abouk and Adams (2017) studied the first three years of the program using underage 12th graders in Monitoring the Future data, and they found evidence that the program changed purchasing patterns and decreased cigarette use. We nearly triple the number of inspections we evaluate by studying the first six years of the program and find mostly null results. We also find null results when broadening the sample to include all underage youth and when using two additional data sources (National Youth Tobacco Survey and Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System). We speculate possible reasons for the program’s ineffectiveness, including the underage decoys being prohibited from both lying about their age and using fake identification.