TUESDAY, Jan. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Strict local tobacco retail licensing (TRL) regulation may lower rates of cigarette and electronic cigarette use among youth and young adults, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in Pediatrics.

Roee L. Astor, M.P.H., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues assessed prevalences of ever and past 30-day cigarette, e-cigarette, cigar, and hookah use among a cohort of 1,553 11th and 12th graders (mean age, 17.3 years). Rates of initiation were evaluated 1.5 years later. The 14 political jurisdictions where participants lived were graded on the basis of the strength of the local TRL ordinance.

The researchers found that participants living in the four jurisdictions with “A” grades (the most restrictive ordinances) had lower odds of ever cigarette use (odds ratio [OR], 0.61) and past 30-day use (OR, 0.51) versus participants in the 10 D-grade to F-grade jurisdictions. At follow-up, there were lower odds of cigarette use initiation at the legal age of purchase (OR, 0.67) in jurisdictions with a stronger TRL policy. Better regulation was also associated with lower odds of e-cigarette initiation at follow-up (OR, 0.74) and initiation with past 30-day use (OR, 0.45).

“Success of regulations restricting youth access to cigarettes and alternative tobacco products may depend on ensuring a robust enforcement scheme,” the authors write.

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