Access of Over-the-counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products to Minors

Karen Johnson, Lisa M. Klesges, Grant W. Somes, Mathilda Coday, Margaret DeBon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Public health policy guidelines recommend that health care providers (eg, physicians, nurses others) counsel adolescent smokers to quit and that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may be considered to aid in smoking cessation for nicotine-dependent youth. This recommendation is discrepant with Food and Drug Administration-approved labeling of NRT products, stating that they not be sold to persons younger than 18 years. It is not clear how easily minors are able to purchase NRT products in retail markets. Objective: To explore youth access to NRT by conducting the first study, to our knowledge, to determine the ability of minors to purchase over-the-counter NRT products. Design: Observational case series of NRT purchase attempts and survey description of store characteristics. Setting: Retail businesses in Memphis, Tenn. Participants: Population-based sample of 165 stores that sold over-the-counter medications. Main Outcome Measure: Successfully completed purchase attempts of NRT by the minor buyer. Results: In most stores that stocked NRT products, the age of the minor was not queried at any time during the purchase attempt (79%) and the minor was able to successfully purchase the product (81%). If the minor was asked her age, the store was much less likely to sell the NRT product. Stores in which a cash register gave an age query prompt or in which alcohol was sold were more likely to inquire about the minor's age and less likely to sell NRT products. Conclusions: Nicotine replacement therapy product were successfully obtained in most purchases by a minor buyer without proof of age. While ease of purchasing NRT products is potentially beneficial to young smokers attempting to quit, these purchases are discrepant with Food and Drug Administration labeling regarding the sale of NRT products to minors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-216
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume158
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

Fingerprint

Tobacco Use Cessation Products
Minors
Nicotine
Therapeutics
United States Food and Drug Administration
Drug Labeling
Aptitude
Smoking Cessation
Public Policy
Health Policy
Health Personnel

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Access of Over-the-counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products to Minors. / Johnson, Karen; Klesges, Lisa M.; Somes, Grant W.; Coday, Mathilda; DeBon, Margaret.

In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 158, No. 3, 01.03.2004, p. 212-216.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Johnson, Karen ; Klesges, Lisa M. ; Somes, Grant W. ; Coday, Mathilda ; DeBon, Margaret. / Access of Over-the-counter Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products to Minors. In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2004 ; Vol. 158, No. 3. pp. 212-216.
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abstract = "Background: Public health policy guidelines recommend that health care providers (eg, physicians, nurses others) counsel adolescent smokers to quit and that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) may be considered to aid in smoking cessation for nicotine-dependent youth. This recommendation is discrepant with Food and Drug Administration-approved labeling of NRT products, stating that they not be sold to persons younger than 18 years. It is not clear how easily minors are able to purchase NRT products in retail markets. Objective: To explore youth access to NRT by conducting the first study, to our knowledge, to determine the ability of minors to purchase over-the-counter NRT products. Design: Observational case series of NRT purchase attempts and survey description of store characteristics. Setting: Retail businesses in Memphis, Tenn. Participants: Population-based sample of 165 stores that sold over-the-counter medications. Main Outcome Measure: Successfully completed purchase attempts of NRT by the minor buyer. Results: In most stores that stocked NRT products, the age of the minor was not queried at any time during the purchase attempt (79{\%}) and the minor was able to successfully purchase the product (81{\%}). If the minor was asked her age, the store was much less likely to sell the NRT product. Stores in which a cash register gave an age query prompt or in which alcohol was sold were more likely to inquire about the minor's age and less likely to sell NRT products. Conclusions: Nicotine replacement therapy product were successfully obtained in most purchases by a minor buyer without proof of age. While ease of purchasing NRT products is potentially beneficial to young smokers attempting to quit, these purchases are discrepant with Food and Drug Administration labeling regarding the sale of NRT products to minors.",
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