The Brain Science Behind Raising the Tobacco Buying Age to 21


San Francisco’s new tobacco ordinance — which raises the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 — could help improve the health of a new generation of people by preventing addiction, health officials said.

Nationally, 18-year-olds can buy tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars. However, in the past decade or so, some American communities, cities and one state (Hawaii) have passed ordinances and laws increasing the minimum age to 21.

These new policies could lead to better brain development among young adults who might have otherwise chosen to smoke at a younger age, said Brian King, the deputy director for research translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health


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