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Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 875 - 885

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

M. T Botello Harbaum, D. L Haynie, R. J Iannotti, J Wang, L Gase and B. Simons Morton



Tobacco policies that limit the sale of cigarettes to minors and restrict smoking in public places are important strategies to deter youth from accessing and consuming cigarettes.


We examined the relationship of youth cigarette smoking status to state-level youth access and clean indoor air laws, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and cigarette price. Data were analyzed from the 2001 to 2002 U.S. Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey, a cross-sectional survey conducted with a nationally representative sample of 13,339 students in the United States.


Compared with students living in states with strict regulations, those living in states with no or minimal restrictions, particularly high school students, were more likely to be daily smokers. These effects were somewhat reduced when logistic regressions were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and cigarette price, suggesting that higher cigarette prices may discourage youth to access and consume cigarettes independent of other tobacco control measures.


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.

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