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Majority of Teens Support Tobacco 21 Initiative

A study in the July 2017 Pediatrics, “Attitudes Toward Tobacco 21 Among U.S. Youth,” (published online June 19) was conducted to learn more about youth opinions on laws that would limit the sale of tobacco to individuals age 21 years or older. Most current studies have focused on the attitudes of adults.  Researchers used data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey to analyze the prevalence of youth support toward Tobacco 21.  Most youths, 63.9 percent of all respondents, had supportive attitudes toward Tobacco 21. Younger adolescents, ages 12 to 14, (vs. older adolescents – ages 15 to 17) and girls (vs. boys) were more likely to support the initiative. Non-current smokers had a higher support rate for Tobacco 21 than current smokers, and adolescents were more likely to support the initiative if they lived in a home setting that was free from tobacco product use. Researchers conclude that if adolescents broadly support Tobacco 21, they may be more likely to obey the policy, to encourage peers to follow the policy, and to report any violations of the policy, all of which could help de-normalize smoking among adolescents.


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