Mar 16, 2007


The Tobacco Policy Options for Prevention project (TPOP) is
a community-based intervention, which aims to mobilize members of a community
into rallying for better enforced local ordinances against the sale of tobacco
products to minors. The aim of the program is to decrease the accessibility of
commercially distributed tobacco products to minors, thereby decreasing tobacco
usage. This project was evaluated in 14 Minnesota
communities, with 7 serving as control communities and 7 randomly assigned to
implement the intervention. Within the experimental communities, leaders were
chosen who built teams that worked to modify local ordinances and push for
better enforcement of them. Surveys administered to students in the communities
before and after (36 months) the intervention showed significantly slower
increases in tobacco usage in the intervention cities as well as decrease in
students’ perceptions of the accessibility to tobacco from commercial sources
but no impact on perceived availability from friends and other people.


Target population: Youth at risk for
cigarette smoking

The Tobacco Policy Options for Prevention project is a
community based initiative designed to decrease adolescent cigarette smoking by
changing local policies regarding tobacco sales through community mobilization.
The intervention consists of the direct mobilization of individuals in a
community to form coalitions through which they can push for more and
increasingly well-enforced ordinances regarding tobacco sales to minors.

Through letter and
petition drives, media campaigns, and tobacco purchase attempts using underage youth,
these local coalitions work to raise awareness of youth tobacco accessibility.


Forster, J.L., Murray,
D.M., Wolfson, M., Blaine, T.M., Wagenaar,
A.C., & Henrikus, D.J. (1998).
The effects of community policies to reduce youth access to
tobacco. American Journal of Public Health, 88 (8), 1193-1198.

Evaluated population: Students in grades
8-10 in 14 Minnesota
communities were surveyed regarding tobacco accessibility and usage before and
after the program was implemented. (6014 students in 1993 and
6269 students in 1996) regarding tobacco accessibility and usage. 94% of
the surveyed population was white. Data on tobacco sales policies to minors was
also collected at tobacco retail outlets within each community.

Approach: The evaluation of TPOP used a stratified
random design in which 22 Minnesota
communities were selected based on having at least 90 students in each of
grades 8, 9, and 10, being outside of the area where the Minnesota American
Stop Smoking Intervention Study was occurring, and not having changed smoking
ordinances recently. Of the 22, 14 communities agreed to participate and were
then stratified prior to randomization on the basis of population and baseline
student smoking rate (derived from 1993 baseline survey administered to 8-10th
graders in each community).

The intervention lasted 32 months, during which a team
leader in each community recruited a group of 8-15 individuals who then
designed, led, and enforced the intervention. Implementation varied by
community because teams drafted their own ordinances using models from various
communities. They then marshaled support for the acceptance and enforcement of
these ordinances.

In addition to smoking rate, the student survey measured
students’ perception of the ease and method of tobacco attainment. Tobacco
retailers were assessed on their practices and leniency through two
researcher-arranged purchase attempts carried out by two 15 year-old
girls. Since the intervention occurred at the community level, the community
was used as the unit of analysis as opposed to individual students.

Results: All 7 intervention communities adopted a
comprehensive ordinance aimed at merchant compliance with age-of-sale laws (3
control communities adopted les stringent modifications of their tobacco
ordinances). Though tobacco use rates rose across the board, the rate of
increase was significantly lower in the experimental communities. Differences
in smoking increases between the intervention and control communities averaged
between 4 and 7 percent. For monthly and weekly smokers, this trend remained
regardless of gender or age. Changes in daily-smoker smoking rates were
non-significant, though a trend was found for the younger students.

Further, the perceived ability to obtain cigarettes from
commercial sources declined significantly more in the intervention communities,
as did the proportion of adolescents who reported at least one purchase attempt
in the last month. There was also a decrease in the success of tobacco-purchasing
attempts made by researchers using underage youth, though not significantly
different between experimental and control communities. There was no impact on
perceived availability from social sources, such as friends, family, and other


Link to program curriculum: <a


Forster, J.L., Murray, D.M., Wolfson, M., Blaine,
T.M., Wagenaar, A.C., & Henrikus,
D.J. (1998) The effects of community policies to
reduce youth access to tobacco. American Journal of Public Health, 88
(8), 1193-1198.

Program categorized in this guide according to the

Evaluated participant ages: 14-17 (Grades 8-10) / Program
age ranges in the Guide: 12-14, 15-21

Program components:
community or media campaign

Measured outcomes: physical health

KEYWORDS: Adolescence (12-17), Youth (16+), Middle
School, High School, Community-based, Community or Media Campaign, Substance
Use, Tobacco Use, White or Caucasian, Physical Health

Program information last updated 3/16/07.