To identify and to discuss factors influencing illegal merchant sales of tobacco to underage people in Ontario, Canada.
Results were obtained through random retail compliance checks of tobacco merchants. A multivariate analysis specified the relationship between selected independent variables and the willingness of tobacco merchants to sell to minors. The selected independent variables included retail operation type, community population size, the presence of tobacco production, signage, sex and age of volunteers, smoking prevalence rates, and enforcement rates.
A random, stratified sample of 438 tobacco retailers in 186 communities in Ontario.
Willingness of merchants to sell tobacco to minors.
Older youths and girls were more likely to be sold tobacco products. Purchase attempts carried out in tobacco-producing regions were also statistically related to illegal sales.
Policy efforts to control youth access to tobacco in Canada may need to invoke legislation requiring merchants to request proper identification from customers who appear to be under the age of 25, and who seek to purchase tobacco products. Further attention could also be directed at tobacco control policies and enforcement strategies that need to consider the unique challenges faced by jurisdictions where the tobacco industry is a powerful presence.
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The new Public Curator Act systematically requires medical and psychosocial evaluations. In confronting the letter and the spirit of the law to its regulations and operating procedures (and inversely), this article outlines the various tasks that will fall under the responsibility of health and social service professionals. Following a brief presentation of the law, the authors describe how the role of these professionals is limited to evaluations for the purpose of conducting expert appraisements, a matter which raises a great deal of concern. In addition, the two key notions of "inaptitude" and "need" are discussed in their legal sense, along with their consequences from the medical evaluation and psychosocial standpoints. The latter in particular will be analyzed regarding implementation difficulties. The authors conclude with a general commentary that is likely to give meaning to that simple and sometimes routine gesture consisting of "completing a form".
Medical decisions involving children raise particular ethical issues for physicians and other members of the health care team. Although parents and physicians have traditionally made most medical decisions on behalf of children, the developing autonomy of children is increasingly being recognized in medical decision-making. This poses a challenge for physicians, who must work with the child's family and with other health care practitioners to determine the child's role in decision-making. A family-centred approach respects the complex nature of parent-child relationships, the dependence and vulnerability of the child and the child's developing capacity for decision-making.
The need of the judicial system for psychiatric and psychological examination of parents and children prior to decisions concerning custody and visiting rights is illustrated. Further, the possibility of establishing collaboration with legal authorities is discussed. Most child psychiatric and child psychological clinics in Denmark declared themselves willing to take part in the investigation carried out during 1975 and 1976. Within this period the legal authorities referred 232 cases. The indication for expert advice is discussed. Our suspicion that the parties in these selected cases often were suffering from serious mental disorders was confirmed. The difficulties of evaluating the child's views are described. The authors conclude that it is impossible to fix a lower limit for the age at which children are to be heard in court. The legal decision usually accorded with the conclusion drawn from the statement. The investigation resulted in the establishment of a more permanent collaboration of lawyers and psychiatric examiners with regard to custody and visiting rights.