News Release

Adolescents’ tobacco and nicotine use: Differential associations among racial and ethnic groups

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

New Research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation investigated the effects of California’s 2016 law that raised the minimum tobacco sales age to from 18 to 21 (T21) and found evidence that the new law has had positive public health effects on 7th, 9th, and 11th grade students from across California.

Specifically, results show that T21 was associated with:

  • Reduced prevalence of lifetime smokeless tobacco and e-cigarette use, and past month smokeless tobacco use in the overall student population.
  • Increases in prevalence of past month e-cigarette use.
  • Reductions in lifetime and past-30-day use of all tobacco and nicotine products among Latinx youth.
  • Differential, but positive public health effects for other racial and ethnic groups.

Says lead author, Dr. Joel Grube: “Our research shows that raising the tobacco purchase age to 21 years is a recommended strategy to reduce adolescents’ tobacco and nicotine use.”

Source:  Grube, Joel W., Sharon Lipperman-Kreda, Grisel García-Ramírez, Mallie J. Paschall, and Melissa H. Abadi. "California’s tobacco 21 minimum sales age law and adolescents’ tobacco and nicotine use: differential associations among racial and ethnic groups." Tobacco Control (2021).


PIRE is an independent, nonprofit organization merging scientific knowledge and proven practice to create solutions that improve the health, safety and well-being of individuals, communities, and nations around the world.

The Prevention Research Center (PRC) of PIRE is one of 16 centers sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), of the National Institutes of Health, and is the only one that specializes in prevention. PRC's focus is on conducting research to better understand the social and physical environments that influence individual behaviors that lead to alcohol and drug misuse.

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