Leonard A. Jason, PhD, led a team of researchers from DePaul University that studied whether restricting minors' access to cigarettes and fining them for possessing tobacco products have a significant influence on their rates of smoking, and whether younger people are more influenced by these policies than older minors.
Key Findings: Jason and his team found that:
- The percentage of youth who use tobacco increases as they get older.
- The combination of restricting access and imposing fines for possession reduces the rate of increase.
- Higher levels of retail tobacco availability were associated with whether youth initiated smoking but not whether they continued smoking.
Key Conclusions: Researchers concluded from the study that:
- Public health interventions that involve police fining minors along with high merchant compliance rates might decrease rates of tobacco use of white youth.