Differential impact of tobacco control policies on youth sub-populations

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Sep 12;10(9):4306-22. 
Authors: Tauras JA, Huang J, Chaloupka FJ

Background: While previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of tobacco control interventions in reducing tobacco use among youth overall, there have been very few studies that examine the potential differential impact of tobacco control policies on various youth subgroups, defined by socio-economic status (SES), race/ethnicity, and gender. Objective: We examined the relationship between state-level cigarette prices and smoke-free air laws and youth smoking prevalence and intensity for various youth sub-populations in the United States. Methods: We estimated a 2-part model of cigarette demand using data from the 1991 through 2010 nationally representative surveys of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students as part of the Monitoring the Future project. Findings: We found that real cigarette prices are strong determinants of youth smoking. Blacks, females, Hispanics, and low-SES subpopulations are found to have a larger price response with respect to smoking prevalence than the full sample. Smoke-free air laws are found to have a negative effect on smoking prevalence for the full sample and for the male, white, and high-SES sub-populations. Conclusions: This research concludes that higher cigarette prices will reduce smoking prevalence rates of Blacks, Hispanics, females, and low-SES subpopulations faster than the overall youth population and other youth sub-populations. Moreover, this research concludes that smoke-free air laws will reduce smoking prevalence for the overall youth population with the largest reductions in high SES and male subpopulations.

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