A comprehensive examination of the influence of state tobacco control programs and policies on youth smoking

Am J Public Health. 2013 Mar;103(3):549-55. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300948. Epub 2013 Jan 17.


Objectives: We examined the influence of tobacco control policies (tobacco control program expenditures, smoke-free air laws, youth access law compliance, and cigarette prices) on youth smoking outcomes (smoking susceptibility, past-year initiation, current smoking, and established smoking).

Methods: We combined data from the 2002 to 2008 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health with state and municipality population data from the US Census Bureau to assess the associations between state tobacco control policy variables and youth smoking outcomes, focusing on youths aged 12 to 17 years. We also examined the influence of policy variables on youth access when these variables were held at 2002 levels.

Results: Per capita funding for state tobacco control programs was negatively associated with all 4 smoking outcomes. Smoke-free air laws were negatively associated with all outcomes except past-year initiation, and cigarette prices were associated only with current smoking. We found no association between these outcomes and retailer compliance with youth access laws.

Conclusions: Smoke-free air laws and state tobacco control programs are effective strategies for curbing youth smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Public Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • State Government*
  • United States / epidemiology