The Problem and Sociocultural Context of Single-Cigarette Sales

Elizabeth A. Klonoff, Jan M. Fritz, Hope Landrine, Richard W. Riddle, Laurie Tully Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


To provide data on the sale of single cigarettes to adults and minors and to examine the sociocultural context in which these sales occur. —A naturalistic observation study using repeated measures. Two hundred six stores in a convenience sample were visited by one minor and one adult who each attempted to purchase a single cigarette. —Single-cigarette sales to an adult and/or minor. Data were obtained on type of store and, if a sale occurred, on the price, brand, and packaging of the cigarette. The ethnic composition of the neighborhood surrounding each store was determined. —One hundred one (49.1%) of the stores sold single cigarettes. Singles were sold significantly more often to minors than to adults, and when both could make a purchase, minors paid more for these singles than did adults. Singles were least likely to be sold in white neighborhoods, more likely to be sold in integrated neighborhoods, and most likely to be sold in minority neighborhoods. Minors were able to purchase single cigarettes during 34.4% of the visits to white neighborhoods but could do so during 71.2% of the visits to minority neighborhoods; adults were able to make similar purchases during 24% of the visits to white neighborhoods and 37.3% of the visits to minority neighborhoods. —The illegal sale of single cigarettes involves complex sociocultural factors heretofore unexamined. An understanding of such factors may be useful in planning merchant education programs and drafting policy to control illegal sales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)618-620
Number of pages3
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'The Problem and Sociocultural Context of Single-Cigarette Sales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this