Worksites represent an untapped resource for reaching teens with tobacco control messages, given that 80% of teens have held at least one job by the time they graduate from high school. This paper presents formative research findings from a methods development study aimed at designing and testing a tobacco control intervention targeting working teens. Formative research included qualitative methods as well as quantitative data from a cross-sectional survey of teens employed in 10 participating grocery stores. Contrary to our a priori hypothesis, smoking rates among employed youth in this study were not higher than statewide averages and most of the teen workers were still in school, indicating that worksite interventions, at least in this setting, represent an alternative or adjunct to school-based programs, but do not necessarily capture a unique population. Employed teen tobacco use patterns and work characteristics that emerged from our formative research are presented in this paper, and may be useful in planning future worksite interventions for employed teens.