Increasing the Percentage of Store Clerks with Valid Permits to Reduce Tobacco Sales to Minors

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Reducing adolescent tobacco use is a priority for Tooele County Health Department (TCHD) in Utah. Staff recognized the need to improve tobacco compliance check pass rates and identified that clerks who possess a valid permit were less likely to sell tobacco products to minors. TCHD used quality improvement methods and processes to develop a formal protocol for conducting compliance checks, explain the importance of the permit and the consequences of not having a current permit, and create and initiate an online tobacco handler course and exam in English and Spanish. TCHD successfully increased the percentage of clerks in Tooele County who hold a valid tobacco handler permit and standardized the process that TCHD uses.
Summary: 

TCHD recognized a need to increase the percentage of tobacco clerks in the county who hold valid tobacco handler permits. Baseline data for the percentage of permitted clerks were collected through telephone and in-person surveys and recorded in continuous data protection (CDP) software. The current approach was examined, and potential solutions were identified by creating a cause-and-effect diagram. Some of these potential solutions included developing an online tobacco handler course in English and Spanish, increasing education efforts for clerks and store owners, and enforcing penalties on clerks and establishments not in compliance. A prioritization matrix was then created to determine which of the potential solutions would be most cost and time effective.

In the end, TCHD decided that it would be most feasible to implement all of the potential solutions identified. TCHD also developed a new flowchart enforcement protocol for tobacco compliance checks that described what steps the health inspector should take when a clerk did not have a valid tobacco handler permit. The QI project was implemented over an 11-month period. In September 2014, the percentage of tobacco clerks who possessed a valid tobacco handler permit was again measured, and the results were favorable. From October 2013 to September 2014, the percentage of permitted tobacco clerks in Tooele County increased from 42.5% to 74%.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
TCHD
Citation: 

LaFrance, M. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Increasing the Percentage of Store Clerks with Valid Permits to Reduce Tobacco Sales to Minors. Tue, 07/14/2015 - 09:41. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/increasing-percentage-store-clerks-valid-permits-reduce-tobacco-sales-minors. Accessed October 19, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
up
1 user has voted.
Link to the resource where this submission is also published: 
No.