Strict controls on the sale of cigarettes to young people can also reduce adult smoking, says a new study.
The states with more stringent restrictions on the sale of cigarettes to teenagers also had lower adult smoking rates, especially among women, the researchers found. These conditions also tend to have fewer adult smokers.
“In most states, for many years, it was illegal to sell cigarettes to people under 18, but several provisions aimed at preventing these 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 the more restrictive policy can prevent youth smoking and to be useful in the future.”
He and his colleagues studied the 1998 and 2007 data from more than 105 000 people aged 18 to 34, is involved in the implementation of the U.S. National Cancer Institute survey that monitors the behavior of smoking throughout the country. They looked at whether people have ever smoked, whether they were 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 more stringent regulation and enforcement, 17-year-olds had more difficulty buying cigarettes and were less likely to smoke when they were aged 20 to 30 years, according to a study published online June 13 in the American Journal of Health.
“We estimate that if all states of effective policies in place, it will lead to a reduction in smoking prevalence by about 14 percent, and the rate of smoking by 29 percent,” said Grucza.
The study showed that the following four were the most effective restrictions:
• Elimination of cigarette machines commercial or place them out of reach for persons under 18 years of age
• ID requirements to purchase cigarettes
• Restrictions repackaging cigarette to prevent five or 10 sold at one time rather than all 20 packs of cigarettes
• To prohibit distribution of free samples of cigarettes at public events
“Many states have not adopted these policies. In 2006, which is the last year for which we have data, only four states require photo identification, and only 20 states had any identification requirements at all. So there is still much room for improvement, “said Grucza.
However, as more states to implement and enforce a more restrictive policy against smoking may be further reductions in smoking, he added.