21 > 18: RAISE TO REDUCE
Raising the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 to reduce tobacco use among youth and young adults.
Approximately 95% of smokers started smoking before they reached the age of 21. A policy that raises the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 years is an effective strategy to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use among youth and young adults.
In Texas over 12,300 kids become daily smokers every year. In El Paso the youth smoking rate for cigarettes is around 16% and approximately 14% for e-cigarette use.
Why is this an effective strategy? Youth who have friends and family in close proximity, who can legally use tobacco, are more likely to access tobacco products through these people. Raising the sales age can help reduce or eliminate social access.