Tobacco Vending Machine Restrictions



Children are easily able to buy cigarettes from vending machines. As reported in the 1994 Surgeon General's Report, nine studies found that minors were able to purchase cigarettes 82 to 100 percent of the time.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC), "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, A Report of the Surgeon General," 1994.
For younger or less confident children, vending machines provide a less intimidating avenue for purchasing tobacco than over-the-counter sales.
Institute for Medicine, "Growing Up Tobacco Free," 1994.
Children can purchase cigarettes from vending machines in "adult only" areas such as bars 77% of the time.
Forster, J., et al., "Availability of Cigarettes to Underage Youth in Three Communities," Preventive Medicine, 1992:21:320-328.
Younger children use vending machines to purchase cigarettes more often than older adolescents. A study commissioned by the vending machine industry revealed that 13-year olds reported using vending machines eleven times more frequently than did 17-year olds.
Response Research, Inc., "Study of Teenage Cigarette Smoking and Purchasing Behavior," For the National Automatic Merchandising Association, 1989.
Vending machines send the message that cigarettes are no more dangerous than candy; in fact, they are often sold in the same vending machine.
Stop Teenage Addition to Tobacco (STAT), "Tobacco Free Youth Reporter," 1992.
Restrictions on vending machines are widely supported. According to the American Cancer Society, 73% of voters, including 66% of all smokers, reported that they would favor banning cigarette vending machines because of concern for children.
Marttila and Kiley, Inc., "Highlights from an American Cancer Society Survey of U.S. Voter Attitudes Towards Cigarette Smoking," 1993.
Local restrictions on tobacco vending machines work to support existing laws against over-the-counter sales. Retailers are more likely to refuse to sell to minors if vending machines are not easily accessible to youth.
Altman, D., et al., "Reducing the Illegal Sale of Cigarettes to Minors," JAMA, 1989: 261: 80-83.
Generally, the only opponents to vending machine restrictions are the vending machine companies, often supported by the tobacco industry.
Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, "Why is Tobacco Control a Local Issue," 1992.
Cigarette sales account for a small and declining portion of total vending machine revenues. Cigarette vending machine sales average approximately $10 / per machine / per day; cigarettes comprised only 4.7% of total vending machine revenues in 1993.
Vending Times, "Census of the Industry Issue," 1994; National Automatic Merchandising Association, "Cigarette Vending Machine Fact Sheet"; Automatic Merchandiser, "State of the Industry Report," 1994.
Note: Retailers also have the option of selling cigarettes over-the-counter, allowing for a face-to-face sale.

[source: Stop Teenage Addiction to Tobacco (STAT), phone: 413.732.7828]