A Tobacco Control Policy & Legal Resource Center
Supporting Smokefree Air & Tobacco-Free Lives

No retail impact if tobacco sale age raised to 21, as per American Journal of Public Health

Posted on

The American Journal of Public Health, November 2014 issue  published a Public Health Policy Brief by Dr. Jonathan Winickoff entitled “Retail Impact of Raising Tobacco Sales Age to 21 Years”.  It discusses many reasons why raising the age of tobacco sales to 21 is sound public health policy.  Included is a summary of the experience in Needham, Massachusetts which raised the age of tobacco sales to age 21, in 2005. 

Following the implementation of the law, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and Metro West Health Foundations’ Adolescent Health survey data showed a 47% reduction in Needham high-school smoking rate in the 4 years (2006—2010) after the legislation was implemented, which was a lower teen smoking rate than in neighboring towns without such a policy. Dr. Winickoff also noted that “No tobacco retailers have gone out of business in Needhamd since implementation.”