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Youth Access to Tobacco: Tobacco 21 Enforcement Study and Tobacco Retail Outlet Density (April 2019)

By Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Madison Hoover, M.S., Steve Corbett, Ph.D. | April 11, 2019

Youth Access to Tobacco: Tobacco 21 Enforcement Study and Tobacco Retail Outlet Density (April 2019)

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Tobacco 21 (T21) is a tobacco control initiative that raises the minimum age of legal access (MLA) for the sale of tobacco products to persons age 21 and older and complements other strategies to reduce tobacco use.

The MLA in the state of Kansas is age 18 and Kansas City, Kansas, was the first locality to adopt T21 in November 2015. As of February 1, 2019, a total of 24 localities have adopted T21 in Kansas.

Youth access policies are enforced by the state of Kansas for sale to persons under age 18, and none of the local T21 ordinances adopted in Kansas include provisions or funding mechanisms for enforcement of those between age 18 and age 21. Through external funding, Kansas City, Kansas, completed a local enforcement study in 2017.

In this report, two issues were examined: (1) retailer compliance; and (2) density of tobacco retail outlets, particularly near schools, in three Kansas counties. 

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.