A survey conducted by teen-agers of 519 Los Angeles County stores found that 60% illegally sell cigarettes to minors, including 83% of the 18 stores surveyed in Pico-Union.
The survey, coordinated by the Los Angeles Regional Tobacco Control Community Linkage Project, involved 118 youths ages 14 to 17 who tried to buy cigarettes at supermarkets, gas stations, and grocery, liquor and convenience stores.
None of the youths actually purchased any cigarettes; if a clerk agreed to make a sale, the minors said they had insufficient money and left the store. But adult members of the survey team watched surreptitiously and recorded the successful attempted buys as sales.
Under California law, it is illegal to sell cigarettes to under 18.
Among the 12 communities surveyed, sales to minors ranged from a low of 36% in Silver Lake to a high of 83% in Pico-Union, where minors made successful attempted buys at 15 of 18 stores.