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Revisiting the Effects of Tobacco Retailer Compliance Inspections on Youth Tobacco Use

Bo Feng and Michael F. Pesko ()
Additional contact information
Bo Feng: IMPAQ International
Michael F. Pesko: Department of Economics, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

American Journal of Health Economics, 2019, vol. 5, issue 4, 509-532

Abstract: 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 and tobacco use patterns. Abouk and Adams (2017b) studied the first three years of the program using Monitoring the Future and found evidence that the program changed purchasing patterns and decreased cigarette use among underage 12th graders. 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 that underage decoys are prohibited from both lying about their age and using fake identification.

Keywords: FDA's retail inspection; youth cigarette purchase; youth tobacco use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 I12 I18 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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