ABSTRACT

In a recent editorial, Ling, Landman and Glantz (2002) argue that youth access tobacco programs are ineffective and drain limited re­ sources. They argue that these programs do not affect teen smoking prevalence (Fichtenberg & Glantz, 2002) because as fewer merchants sell tobacco to minors, teens will use social sources to obtain tobacco. The authors further claim that these programs help build coalitions for the tobacco industry. Wakefield and Giovino (2002), on the other hand, argue that teen penalties for tobacco possession may divert public ef­ forts from more effective anti-smoking strategies, and these policies are unlikely to reduce youth smoking at the population level . In this article, we provide a response to these arguments .