Strong Tobacco Sales Rules May Reduce Teen Smoking: Study

Strong tobacco retail licensing rules may help reduce teens' use of regular and electronic cigarettes, according to a new study.

It included thousands of teens in southern California who were followed from the 11th and 12th grades until age 18. The areas where they lived where graded on their tobacco retail licensing rules.

"We found that youth living in areas with strong licensing requirements were less likely to begin using e-cigarettes and cigarettes during the one and a half year follow-up, on average, compared to youth who resided in areas with weaker regulations," study co-author Robert Urman, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, wrote in an email to CNN.

Compared to areas with weaker requirements, teen use of tobacco products was one-third to one-half lower in areas with the strongest licensing requirements, and teens in those areas were less likely to start or to have smoked cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

For example, teens in areas with the strongest licensing rules were 26 percent less likely to begin using e-cigarettes and 55 percent less likely to report e-cigarette initiation and use in the previous 30 days than those in areas with the weakest rules, CNN reported.

The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

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