Description of Strategy
The majority of states have laws that prohibit minors from purchasing, possessing, and/or using alcohol and tobacco products. Over 75 percent of those states enacted laws that impose sanctions upon minors who violate purchase, use, and/or possession laws. Penalties vary by state and range from confiscation of the product to fixed or graduated monetary fines, participation in alcohol or tobacco education programs or community service, suspension of driving privileges, and/or imprisonment (National Cancer Institute, n.d).
Wyoming state law prohibits minors from possessing alcohol or tobacco if they are under 21 years of age for alcohol or under 18 years of age for tobacco. If the minor is found guilty of possession alcohol or tobacco results in a misdemeanor. For possession of alcohol the maximum penalty is a $750 fine and/or imprisonment for not more than 6 months. For possession of tobacco the penalty is a $50 fine for the first offense, $250 fine for the second offense in a 24 month period, and a $750 fine for a third offense within a 24 month period (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 12-6-101, § 14-3-305, 2017).
Also known as...
Tobacco purchase-use-possession (PUP) laws
Discussion of Effectiveness
Evidence on the effectiveness of applying appropriate penalties for minors in possession of alcohol suggests the presence of such laws is associated with lower numbers of alcohol-related crashes (Fell, Fisher, Voas, Blackman, & Tippetts, 2008; Fell, Scherer, Thomas, & Voas, 2016).
The evidence on the effectiveness of applying appropriate penalties for minors in possession of tobacco suggests mixed effectiveness. Studies evaluating student tobacco use found towns with possession-use-purchase (PUP) laws had lower rates of self-reported use and a smaller increase in current use rates than towns without such laws (Jason, Pokorny, & Adams, 2008; Jason et al., 2009). The studies that did not find significant effects of PUP laws suggested that the mixed result may be due to difference in the level of enforcement and citation (Lazovich, Forster, Widome, & VanCoevering, 2007; Wakefield, 2003).