The researchers compared smoking patterns among teens and teens before and three years after a 2016 California law that raised the legal age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21 years.
The University of California, Davis team found that the “T21” law led to a greater decrease in daily smoking between the ages of 18 and 20 than between the ages of 21 and 23.
“The big news is that the prevalence of ‘daily’ smoking among young people aged 18 to 20 went from 2.2% in 2016 to almost zero in 2019,” said study co-author Susan Stewart, a professor. from the biostatistics division in the Department of Public Health Sciences.
There was no decrease in non-daily smoking.
“One possible reason we may have seen a decline in ‘daily’ smoking, but not ‘no’ smoking, is that ‘daily’ smokers are more likely to buy their own cigarettes; due to sales restrictions.” , Stewart said in a university press release.
In addition, there was no decrease in the rates of people who currently smoked or had never smoked, according to the study, recently published in the journal Preventive Medicine.
Researchers said possible reasons why there was no drop in all types of smoking behavior after the law include: the previous decline in smoking across the country; difficulties in implementation at the state level; increased use of other products such as e-cigarettes and marijuana; sales outside retail stores; and other tobacco control policies.
“Most adult tobacco users start smoking cigarettes before the age of 18, when the brain is still developing and is especially susceptible to nicotine and addictionsaid the study’s author, Melanie Dove, an adjunct professor in the health policy and management division in the Department of Public Health Sciences.
“The new T21 law has the potential, over time, to drastically reduce the number of young people who start smoking regularly and that is why it is important to monitor the impact,” Dove said in the statement.
“Future studies should examine the role of e-cigarette use, policy enforcement, and online sales,” said study co-author Dr. Elisa Tong, an internist and associate professor who directs Smoking cessation initiatives at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more to consider youth tobacco prevention.
SOURCE: University of California, Davis, press release, April 23, 2021