Association of Peer Influence and Access to Tobacco Products With U.S. Youths’ Support of Tobacco 21 Laws, 2015
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Association of Peer Influence and Access to Tobacco Products With U.S. Youths’ Support of Tobacco 21 Laws, 2015

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Adolesc Health
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    Tobacco 21 (T21) is a population-based strategy to prevent tobacco initiation. A majority of U.S. youths support T21; however, the extent to which individual, interpersonal, and community factors influence T21 support is uncertain. This study explored predictors of T21 support among U.S. youth.


    We analyzed data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey (n = 17,683) to assess the association of peer influence and access to tobacco products on T21 support. We used multivariable logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals for T21 support. For tobacco nonusers, the model included peer influence along with covariates including sex, age, race/ethnicity, household tobacco use, and perceived harm. For tobacco users, the model included tobacco access sources (direct purchase, social sources, and other means), the aforementioned covariates, and tobacco product type.


    Among nonusers, students least receptive to peer influence (aOR = 2.5), those youngest in age (11e14 years, aOR = 2.3), and those who believe tobacco is dangerous (aOR = 2.5) had higher odds of T21 support. Among users, lower odds of T21 support were observed among those who purchased tobacco (aOR = .3) and accessed tobacco through social sources (aOR = .7) or other means (aOR = .6) in the past 30 days. Younger tobacco users (11–14 years, aOR = 2.2), black, non-Hispanic users (aOR = 3.8), e-cigarette users (aOR = 2.5), and users who believe that tobacco is dangerous (aOR = 2.8) had higher odds of T21 support.


    Low receptivity to peer influence and lack of access to tobacco products are associated with T21 support. Results underscore that T21 implementation may require a social-ecological approach.

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