advertising campaign and an initiative voted on in a general election. In contrast, in 1991 a 4-cent increase in tax was subsumed into a major price increase by the cigarette industry. There was no public discussion of the tax or price increase and no identifiable effect on consumption.
From the mid-1980s through 1993 in the United States, the tobacco industry introduced generic "no-name" cigarettes at a lower price while it systematically increased the price of its premium brand products. Thus, the smokers who converted to generic cigarettes could be assumed to be price sensitive. Heavier smokers, older women, and those with lower disposable incomes were much more likely to switch to generic brands. Importantly, many young people preferred to smoke the more expensive premium brands, even though the price differential was as high as 30 percent. This suggests that the price of cigarettes in the United States does not represent a recognizable drain on disposable income for many new smokers during the early years of the uptake process. Presumably, the daily consumption level is low during these years, and the smokers are less addicted and better able to adjust their consumption level to their budget. Teenagers are price sensitive, though, as was demonstrated with the reduction in adolescent smoking following the very large tax increases in the late 1980s (Ferrence et al., 1991).
The first major efforts to control access to cigarettes by minors occurred in the United States in the late 1890s with the formation of the anti-cigarette league.9 By 1910, the league had been successful in introducing legislation banning the sale of cigarettes to minors in many states.
Today, all states have laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to persons under the age of 18 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1994a). Many surveys have demonstrated that these laws have overwhelming public support among adults (both smokers and nonsmokers). However, one survey indicated that 80 percent of adults thought it was either very easy or somewhat easy for teenagers to buy cigarettes near where they live. In 1993, 40 percent of Californian 12 to 13 year olds reported that it would be easy for them to get cigarettes if they wanted to (Pierce et al., 1994a). By age 16, 85 percent of adolescents said it was easy to get cigarettes.
Of those who have bought cigarettes, 35 percent have bought from a vending machine, 55 percent from a supermarket, and 94 percent from a small convenience store such as a 7-Eleven. Worse still, Californian small store owners break open packs and sell single cigarettes to adolescents. This action breaks four different laws (Klonoff et al., 1994; Pierce et al., 1994a). However, it is being done with impunity, since chances of being prosecuted are almost nonexistent. While all states have legislation banning cigarette sales to minors, small business owners have significant financial incentives to ignore the law, and po-