New research examines effects of California law on minimum age for tobacco sales at 21


New research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation investigated the effects of the 2016 California law that raised the minimum age for the sale of tobacco from 18 to 21 (T21) and found evidence that the new law had positive effects on public health on the 7the, 9e, and 11e students from all over California.

More specifically, the results show that T21 was associated with:

  • Reduction in the prevalence of lifelong smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette use and past month smokeless tobacco use in the overall student body.
  • Increased prevalence of electronic cigarette use in the past month.
  • Lifetime and last 30 days reductions in all tobacco and nicotine products in Latinx youth.
  • Differential but positive effects on public health for other racial and ethnic groups.

Our research shows that increasing the smoking age to 21 is a recommended strategy for reducing teenage tobacco and nicotine use. “

Dr Joel Grube, principal author


Journal reference:

Grube, JW, et al. (2021) California Law on Minimum Age for Tobacco Sale at 21 and Teenage Tobacco and Nicotine Use: Differential Associations Between Racial and Ethnic Groups. Tobacco control.

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