Republican lawmakers have just a filed a bill that would make vaping on school campuses a crime for those under 21 years of age, on grounds that vaping is contributing to drug use.
Executive director of the Upper Cumberland, Mark Farley, claims that vaping may be a contributing factor to the ongoing opioid epidemic affecting the region. A federal law passed on the 20th of December 2019 bans the sales of all tobacco and vaping products to anyone under the age of 21 years old, however allowed states to keep their existing age laws. In Tennessee this is set at 18, for the sales, distribution, purchase or possession of the products.
In California the age limit did not affect its target audience
Meanwhile, a study conducted by UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center aiming to examine the impact of the Tobacco 21 Law set in California, found that the measure was not effective on its target audience.
Titled, “Smoking behavior in 18–20 year-olds after tobacco 21 policy implementation in California: A difference-in-differences analysis with other states,” the study was published in Preventive Medicine and examined local smoking patterns after the state set in place the first tobacco 21 (T21) policies.
The study showed that the new T21 law was indeed associated with a greater decrease in smoking, at least when it came to daily smoking. “Before California’s T21 policy, there was an 11% annual decrease in the odds of ever smoking among 18–20 year-olds in California and a 6% decrease in the referent states. After the policy, these trends did not change significantly. Results for current smoking were similar. For daily smoking, there was an 8% annual decrease before the policy and a 26% annual decrease after the policy among 18–20 year-olds in California; D-I-D estimates were 0.80 (95% CI: 0.57, 1.14) using referent states as the comparison and 0.62 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.95) using 21–23 year-olds in California as the comparison,” reported the study Abstract.
However, the measure failed to impact its target audience. “There was an association between California’s T21 policy and a decrease in daily smoking among 18–20 year-olds, compared with 21–23 year-olds, more than three years post-implementation,” concluded the researchers.
The researchers speculated that the reason may be that these users do not smoke regularly and often obtain cigarettes from peers. Moreover, there was no associated decrease in ‘ever’ or ‘current’ smoking patterns with California’s T21 law, at least three years post-implementation.