Laws Regulating Tobacco Sales and Industry Marketing Affect Teen Smoking Rates Says Survey in Massachusetts

Between November 1997 and February 1998, researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health conducted a follow-up survey of youth interviewed in the 1993 Massachusetts Tobacco Survey of Youth.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP).

Key Findings

Researchers found that:

  • Adolescents living in towns that in 1993 had laws regulating sales of cigarettes to minors were less likely to smoke in 1997 than adolescents living in towns without such laws.
  • Teenagers who recalled anti-smoking television advertisements were less likely to have started smoking than teenagers who could not recall the advertisements.
  • Adolescents who owned a tobacco promotional item were more likely to have started smoking than were adolescents who did not own a promotional item.