Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Tobacco control policy and adolescent cigarette smoking status in the United States

As we’re about to see the second anniversary of the smoking ban in England I thought this American research into whether smoking control policies make a difference to young people might be of interest.

The researchers say they found that:

Strict tobacco control legislation could decrease the potential of youth experimenting with cigarettes or becoming daily smokers. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that smoking policies, particularly clean indoor air provisions, reduce smoking prevalence among high school students.

This fits with earlier (American) research about the importance of smoking policies in school settings, and perhaps more importantly UK research, which argued:

Youth who do not witness their peers breaking school tobacco policies may themselves be less likely to adopt that risky behavior. Perceived peer tobacco use is a commonly cited predictor of underage smoking, and tobacco use is believed to occur more when youth feel it is common and acceptable.

As an aside a quick search through the Smokefree England One Year On document I was struck by the lack of any analysis of the impact of the ban on young people.

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