July 06, 2004
HONOLULU - A survey by the Hawaii State Department of Health’s
(DOH), Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD), shows sales of tobacco
to minors in Hawaii decreased, compared to last year. The survey is a
joint effort between DOH and the University of Hawaii’s Cancer
Research Center of Hawaii.
"This marks an all-time low tobacco sales rate for the State of
Hawaii," said Chiyome L. Fukino, M.D., Director, Hawaii State
Department of Health. "We now have one of the lowest rates, if not the
lowest, tobacco sales rate to minors in the nation."
In the Spring of 2004, teams made up of youth volunteers (ages
15-17) and adult observers visited a random sample of 211 stores in
which the youth attempted to buy cigarettes to determine how well
retailers were complying with the State tobacco laws.
Eleven stores (5.2%) sold to minors (ages 15-17) without
identification. Since this annual survey started in 1996, the rates
of noncompliance have dropped from 44.5% (1996) to 6.2% in 2003 and
finally to 5.2% this year.
The significant factors associated with purchase of tobacco during
2004 annual inspections were:
- Type of outlet -- Gas stations and gas convenience stores
were more likely to sell to minors (14.0% compared to 6.6% for grocery,
food, restaurant and liquor stores).
- Whether the clerk requested identification -- 50% of clerks
who did not ask the minor for identification sold tobacco to
- Whether the clerk requested identification or age --
If clerks did not ask for age or identification, they were ten times
more likely to sell to minors.
- Gender of minor -- Clerks were more likely to sell to male
minors (19.1%) than to female minors (1.8%).
- Age of minor -- Clerks sold to minors 15 years old more
frequently (15.4%) than to minors age 16 (2.8%) or age 17 (9.4%).
Hawaii State Law prohibits tobacco sales to persons under the age of
18. Merchants convicted of selling to minors face a mandatory fine of
The DOH provides information and training to educate store clerks to
help them identify minors and develop skills to prevent sales to those
under the age of 18. Newly developed outreach materials help clerks
know which years on identification documents they can sell tobacco
products to. Statewide compliance inspections, in partnership with the
Cancer Research Center and the County Police Departments, will continue
to be conducted.
See additional information
For More Information Contact:
Department of Health
Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Division
Phone: (808) 692-7506
Laura M. Lott
Department of Health
Phone: (808) 586-4418