Nav: Home

Tobacco-21 laws can lower smoking prevalence in the 18-20 age group

July 25, 2019

A new study published today by the scientific journal Addiction found that raising the legal age of sale of cigarettes from 18 to 21 in the U.S. was associated with a 39% reduction in the odds of regular smoking in 18- to 20-year-olds who had experimented with cigarettes. The reduction was even greater (50%) in those who had close friends who smoked when they were 16.

The study compares smoking prevalence among 18-20 versus 21-22-year-olds, in regions that did versus did not raise the legal age of tobacco sales to 21. In areas with tobacco-21 laws, 18-20-year-olds were much less likely to smoke than their same-age peers in areas without these policies. That differential was not evident for 21-22-year-olds, who would not have been bound by the sales restriction but should have been affected by other local factors that might explain the younger age-group's differential smoking rate (e.g., other local tobacco policies, regional attitudes towards smoking).

Lead author Abigail Friedman, assistant professor at the Yale School of Public Health, commented, "This research indicates that a 'social multiplier' effect may amplify the impact of tobacco-21 laws. While these policies were associated with a 39% drop in the odds of regular smoking overall, the reduction was larger among young people whose friends were likely to smoke before tobacco-21 laws were adopted. As peer smoking is a critical predictor of youth smoking, this study suggests that tobacco-21 laws may help reduce smoking among those most susceptible to tobacco use. This result supports raising the age of sale to 21 as a means to reduce young adult smoking and improve public health."

As of June 2019, sixteen U.S. states and over 400 localities have adopted tobacco-21 laws.
-end-
For editors:

Peer reviewed: Yes
Type of study: Survey
Subject of study: People
Funding: Government/research council

Research reported in this press release was supported by grant number P50DA036151 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the Food and Drug Administration.

This paper is free to download for one month after publication from the Wiley Online Library (after the embargo has lifted) or by contacting Jean O'Reilly, Editorial Manager, Addiction, jean@addictionjournal.org, tel +44 (0)20 7848 0452.

To speak with lead author Dr. Abigail Friedman: contact her through the Yale School of Public Health by email or telephone (+1 203 785 5760).

Full citation for article: Friedman AS, Buckell J, and Sindelar JL (2019) Tobacco-21 laws and young adult smoking: Quasi-experimental evidence. Addiction 111: doi:10.1111/add.14653.

Addiction is a monthly international scientific journal publishing peer-reviewed research reports on alcohol, substances, tobacco, and gambling as well as editorials and other debate pieces. Owned by the Society for the Study of Addiction, it has been in continuous publication since 1884. Addiction is the number one journal in the 2018 ISI Journal Citation Reports ranking in the substance abuse category (science edition).

Society for the Study of Addiction

Related Smoking Articles:

A case where smoking helped
A mutation in the hemoglobin of a young woman in Germany was found to cause her mild anemia.
No safe level of smoking
People who consistently smoked an average of less than one cigarette per day over their lifetime had a 64 percent higher risk of earlier death than people who never smoked.
Nearly half of women who stop smoking during pregnancy go back to smoking soon after baby is born
A major new review published today by the scientific journal Addiction reveals that in studies testing the effectiveness of stop-smoking support for pregnant women, nearly half (43 percent) of the women who managed to stay off cigarettes during the pregnancy went back to smoking within six months of the birth.
If you want to quit smoking, do it now
Smokers who try to cut down the amount they smoke before stopping are less likely to quit than those who choose to quit all in one go, Oxford University researchers have found.
Cochrane news: Have national smoking bans worked in reducing harms in passive smoking?
The most robust evidence yet, published today in the Cochrane Library, suggests that national smoking legislation does reduce the harms of passive smoking, and particularly risks from heart disease.
Advocating for raising the smoking age to 21
Henry Ford Hospital pulmonologist Daniel Ouellette, M.D., who during his 31-year career in medicine has seen the harmful effects of smoking on his patients, advocates for raising the smoking age to 21.
Stress main cause of smoking after childbirth
Mothers who quit smoking in pregnancy are more likely to light up again after their baby is born if they feel stressed.
As smoking declines, more are likely to quit
Smokeless tobacco and, more recently, e-cigarettes have been promoted as a harm reduction strategy for smokers who are 'unable or unwilling to quit.' The strategy, embraced by both industry and some public health advocates, is based on the assumption that as smoking declines overall, only those who cannot quit will remain.
Smoking around your toddler could be just as bad as smoking while pregnant
Children whose parents smoked when they were toddlers are likely to have a wider waist and a higher BMI by time they reach ten years of age, reveal researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre.
Smoking and angioplasty: Not a good combination
Quitting smoking when you have angioplasty is associated with better quality of life and less chest pain.

Related Smoking Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...