-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Strict controls on the sale
of cigarettes to youth may also reduce adult smoking, a new study
States with tighter restrictions on the sale of cigarettes to
teens also had lower adult smoking rates, especially among women,
researchers found. These states also tended to have fewer adult
"In most states for many years, it has been illegal to sell cigarettes to people under 18, but few provisions are in place to prevent those sales," study first author Richard Grucza, an associate professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a university news release. "This study shows that more restrictive policies can prevent teen smoking and be beneficial down the road."
He and his colleagues examined 1998 to 2007 data from more than
105,000 people, aged 18 to 34, involved in an ongoing U.S. National
Cancer Institute survey that monitors smoking behavior throughout
the country. They looked at whether people had ever smoked, whether
they were current smokers and, if they did smoke, whether they
smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day.
The researchers focused on nine smoking-related policies. In
states with stricter rules and enforcement, 17-year-olds had more
difficulty buying cigarettes and were less likely to smoke when
they were in their 20s and 30s, according to the study published
online June 13 in the
American Journal of Health.
"We estimated that if all states had effective policies in place, it would reduce the prevalence of smoking by about 14 percent and the rates of heavy smoking by 29 percent," Grucza said.
The study found that the following were the four most effective
"A lot of states still have not adopted all of these policies. In 2006, which is the last year for which we have data, only four states required a photo ID, and only 20 states had any kind of identification requirements at all. So there's still a lot of room for improvement," Grucza noted.
However, as more states implement and enforce more restrictive
antismoking policies, there may be further reductions in smoking
rates, he added.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more
youth and tobacco.
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