In 2016, Cleveland City Council passed a policy to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products in the city from 18 to 21. Today, the legislation—known as Tobacco 21—is in effect and, according to research by Case Western Reserve University’s Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN), is already creating a healthier future for Clevelanders.
Led by Erika Trapl, PhD, director of the PRCHN and associate professor in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, the researchers conducted a study looking at tobacco rates in high school students from 2013 to 2019 to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy. The study used data collected from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a survey given every other year to middle and high schoolers in Cuyahoga County to track risky behaviors and potential protective factors over time.
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