Advertisement

Attitudes Toward Raising the Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Among U.S. Adults

      Introduction

      Efforts to disrupt tobacco sales to minors through age of sale restrictions can contribute to reductions in youth tobacco use. The objective of this study was to assess attitudes toward raising the minimum tobacco age of sale to 21 years among U.S. adults.

      Methods

      Data from the 2014 Summer Styles, an Internet survey of U.S. adults aged ≥18 years (N=4,219), were analyzed in 2014. Respondents were asked: Do you favor or oppose raising the legal minimum age to purchase all tobacco products from 18 to 21? Responses included: strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose, and strongly oppose. ORs and 95% CIs were calculated using logistic regression; covariates included sex, age, race/ethnicity, education, income, region, and cigarette smoking status.

      Results

      Among all adults, 50.4% strongly and 24.6% somewhat favored raising the age to 21 years; 77.5% of never smokers, 74.6% of former smokers, and 69.9% of current smokers strongly or somewhat favored it. Adjusted odds of strongly or somewhat favoring raising the age were higher among adults aged 25–44 (OR=1.8, 95% CI=1.3, 2.5), 45–64 (OR=2.3, 95% CI=1.7, 3.2), and ≥65 (OR=3.1, 95% CI=2.2, 4.5) years, and lower among former (OR=0.7, 95% CI=0.6, 0.9) and current (OR=0.7, 95% CI=0.5, 0.8) smokers.

      Conclusions

      Three quarters of adults favor raising the minimum tobacco age of sale to 21 years, including seven in ten smokers. Raising the minimum age of sale, along with proven tobacco control strategies, could prevent youth tobacco use.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

      1. U.S. DHHS. Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults. Atlanta, GA: U.S. DHHS, CDC; 2012. www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2012/index.htm. Accessed December 23, 2014.

      2. U.S. DHHS. The health consequences of smoking—50 years of progress: a report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. DHHS, CDC; 2014. www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/full-report.pdf. Accessed December 23, 2014.

        • Breslau N.
        • Peterson E.L.
        Smoking cessation in young adults: age at initiation of cigarette smoking and other suspected influences.
        Am J Public Health. 1996; 86: 214-220https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.86.2.214
        • Everett S.A.
        • Warren C.W.
        • Sharp D.
        • Kann L.
        • Husten C.G.
        • Crossett L.S.
        Initiation of cigarette smoking and subsequent smoking behavior among U.S. high school students.
        Prev Med. 1999; 29: 327-333https://doi.org/10.1006/pmed.1999.0560
      3. CDC. Best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs, 2014. Atlanta, GA: U.S. DHHS, CDC; 2014. www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/index.htm. Accessed May 28, 2015.

        • Winickoff J.P.
        • Hartman L.
        • Chen M.L.
        • Gottlieb M.
        • Nabi-Burza E.
        • DiFranza J.R.
        Retail impact of raising tobacco sale age to 21.
        Am J Public Health. 2014; 1204: e18-e21https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2014.302174
        • DiFranza J.R.
        Which interventions against the sale of tobacco to minors can be expected to reduce smoking?.
        Tob Control. 2012; 21: 436-442https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050145
      4. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. New poll: Majority of Colorado voters support increasing the age of sale for tobacco products to 21. www.tobaccofreekids.org/press_releases/post/2014_02_17_colorado. Accessed December 23, 2014.

      5. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. New poll: Majority of Utah voters support increasing the age of sale for tobacco products to 21. www.tobaccofreekids.org/press_releases/post/2014_02_20_utah. Accessed December 23, 2014.

        • Winickoff J.P.
        • McMillen R.
        • Tanski S.
        • Wilson K.
        • Gottlieb M.
        • Crane R.
        Public support for raising the age of sale for tobacco to 21 in the United States.
        Tob Control. 2015; (Epub ahead of print)https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-052126
      6. CDC. State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) system. http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/statesystem/Default/Default.aspx. Accessed December 23, 2014.

      7. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Increasing the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21. www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0376.pdf. Accessed December 23, 2014.

        • Wagennar A.C.
        • Toomey T.L.
        Effects of minimum drinking age laws: review and analyses of the literature from 1960 to 2000.
        J Stud Alcohol Suppl. 2002; 14: 206-225https://doi.org/10.15288/jsas.2002.s14.206
        • DiFranza J.R.
        • Coleman M.
        Sources of tobacco for youths in communities with strong enforcement of youth access laws.
        Tob Control. 2001; 10: 323-328https://doi.org/10.1136/tc.10.4.323
        • DiFranza J.R.
        • Savageau J.A.
        • Aisquith B.F.
        Youth access to tobacco: the effects of age, gender, vending machine locks, and “it’s the law” programs.
        Am J Public Health. 1996; 86: 221-224https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.86.2.221
      8. Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. Raising the minimum legal age for tobacco and related products. http://publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/resources/tclc-guide-minimumlegal-saleage-2015.pdf. Accessed December 23, 2014.

        • Regan A.K.
        • Promoff G.
        • Dube S.R.
        • Arrazola R.
        Electronic nicotine delivery systems: adult use and awareness of the ‘e-cigarette’ in the USA.
        Tob Control. 2013; 22: 19-23https://doi.org/10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050044
        • Caraballo R.S.
        • Giovino G.A.
        • Pechacek T.F.
        • Mowery P.D.
        Factors associated with discrepancies between self-reports on cigarette smoking and measured serum cotinine levels among persons aged 17 years or older: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2011; 153: 807-814https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/153.8.807