Since 2015, five states and a growing number of municipalities have enacted Tobacco 21 policies to raise the minimum age of tobacco purchase to age 21 years. Tobacco 21 policies are expected to prevent or delay youth tobacco use initiation by further limiting access to tobacco, especially from older peers, thereby reducing tobacco use and improving health for young adults.
Although most adults, including smokers, support Tobacco 21 policies in the U.S., less is known about adolescent and young adult support, despite evidence that youth who support tobacco control legislation are more likely to comply. A recent cross-sectional study demonstrated that a majority of youth support Tobacco 21, with policy support associated with having no intention to use tobacco among users and nonusers. Yet little is known about trends in youth support for Tobacco 21 over time. Tobacco 21 support is examined in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents and young adults from 2014 to 2017, including young smokers most affected by such policies, before and after state legislative actions.