Report Shows Significant Decrease in Tobacco Sales to Minors after Age Limit Increase

A recent report published in the journal Tobacco Control shows that after California’s 2016 increase in the minimum tobacco sales age from 18 years old to 21 years old, the percentage of California retailers selling tobacco to minors dropped from 10.3 percent to 5.7 percent. The rates are based on surveys in which minor decoys attempted to purchase tobacco from retailers.

The survey data indicated that nearly 99 percent of California tobacco retailers were aware of the new law that raised the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, and nearly 61 percent of retailers supported the increase. While retailer compliance with the increased age limit varies geographically throughout the state, the data shows that high awareness and support for the new law likely contributed to a decrease in illegal tobacco sales to minors. The full Tobacco Control article is available here.