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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: Although decreasing in recent years, the prevalence of youth smoking is still a health concern. In Canada, the prevalence of smokers aged 15-19, was 18% in 2003. Although most youth obtain their cigarettes from social sources, many obtain their cigarettes from retail sources even though the Tobacco Act prohibits retailers from furnishing tobacco products to minors. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of retailer compliance and price on youth smoking rates (participation) and the quantity of cigarettes consumed by those who are already smokers.
Methods: Using pooled data for youth aged 15 to 18, the effects of price and retailer compliance on cigarette smoking participation and consumption were estimated using a two-part model. A total of 19,609 observations were employed. The independent variables included the provincial compliance rate, provincial cigarette price index, age, and sex.
Results: Price and the compliance variable were both significant predictors of whether youth obtained their cigarettes from retail or social sources. In the first equation of the two-part model, both price and the compliance variable were significant indicators of whether or not minors chose to smoke. In the conditional demand equation, the compliance variable was significant while price was not. Total elasticity ranged between -0.255 and -0.238 depending on the model employed.