Estimating the Effects of Tobacco-21 on Youth Tobacco Use and Sales
62 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2021 Last revised: 10 Jan 2023
Date Written: January 1, 2023
We examine the effect of Tobacco 21 laws (T21), which raise the minimum legal sale age of tobacco to 21. We estimate difference-in-differences models using the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey data and Nielsen Retail Scanner data from 2012 to 2019. Outcomes include cigarette and e-cigarette use and sales. To examine how T21 laws work, we also examine potential T21 mechanisms of perceived risks of using cigarettes and e-cigarettes and retailer ID checking. We find that T21 sizably reduces 12th graders’ cigarette use by 21.4 percent, modestly reduces cigarette use for 8th and 10th graders and reduces e-cigarette use across all grades. T21 also reduced cigarette sales by 12.4% and e-cigarette sales by 69.3% in counties with the highest quartile of the share of individuals under 21. In terms of mechanisms, we find that T21 increases ID checking and perceived risks of both tobacco products.
Keywords: Youth Smoking, Tobacco 21
JEL Classification: I12, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation