Research Finds Broad Support For Raising Minimum Age To Buy Tobacco | Eastern North Carolina Now | An East Carolina University researcher and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found broad support for raising the minimum age for tobacco sales in North Carolina and across the country

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Publisher's note: The author of this post, Crystal Baity, is a contributor to ECU News Services.

    An East Carolina University researcher and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found broad support for raising the minimum age for tobacco sales in North Carolina and across the country.

    Dr. Joseph G. Lee, assistant professor in the ECU College of Health and Human Performance, began working on the study as a doctoral student at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He joined ECU's faculty last fall.


Dr. Joseph G. Lee, assistant professor in the College of Health and Human Performance, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted research that shows support for raising the minimum age for people to purchase tobacco products. (Photos by Cliff Hollis, ECU News Services)


    Lee and fellow researchers reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on June 1 that a majority of adults support an increase in the legal age to purchase tobacco products in all regions of the country. They also found the most support for increasing the minimum age to 21 rather than 19 or 20. The legal age to buy tobacco products in North Carolina and most states is 18.

    "Bringing the minimum age for tobacco purchase up to the minimum age for alcohol makes a lot of sense given that tobacco use remains a leading cause of premature death in the United States," Lee said. "The number of preventable deaths from tobacco each year in the U.S. is more than double the entire population of both Pitt County and Lenoir County."

A discarded cigarette butt lies on a campus walkway.
    Researchers saw support across the nation regardless of how conservative or liberal the state participants lived in were, Lee said.

    "Even in regions with historically strong ties to tobacco growing and manufacturing, a strong majority of the public, including smokers, is in favor of raising the minimum legal age of tobacco sales," Lee said.

    In the study, researchers surveyed 4,880 adults aged 18 or older to learn their views on raising the minimum age of tobacco sales to 19, 20 or 21. The telephone survey was offered in both English and Spanish and conducted on landline and cell phones.

    A majority of people surveyed supported raising the minimum age in all regions of the country. Levels of support ranged from 59.6 percent in a seven-state Midwestern region that included Iowa and Kansas to 73.1 percent of residents in a four-state region of the South that included Texas and Louisiana. In the South Atlantic region, which included North Carolina, seven other states and the District of Columbia, 68.1 percent of people supported an increase.

    "With these findings, policy makers and public health advocates can move forward knowing that people in their states support raising the minimum legal age for selling tobacco products, and that this is an issue that is not viewed as partisan," said Dr. Adam O. Goldstein, a University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine. "It seems to cross political lines, and it is one policy measure that the majority of those surveyed can agree on."
Go Back

HbAD0

Latest Neighboring Counties

ECU undergrads take advantage of a SECU PFI summer internship opportunity
Edwards connects with Weldon in Action's mission as part of SECU PFI program
Social work major learns ins and outs of nonprofit with SECU PFI program
Biology major moves from the lab to the field with SECU Public Fellow Internship program
Voyages Series to focus on making a difference through sustainability, activism and diversity

HbAD1

Pirate Nation raises nearly $70 million through gifts and commitments
ECU researchers find possible link between COVID-19, Parkinson’s Disease
ECU researchers receive NOAA grant to explore WWII battle site in Alaska
ECU welcomes newest class of medical students
Kenya welcomes ECU dance students studying, teaching abroad
ECU to offer North Carolina public universities’ only Doctor of Occupational Therapy program

HbAD2


HbAD3

 
Back to Top