ABSTRACT

The findings above strongly indicate that preventingyouth smoking initiation is the most effective way to reduce long-term mortality from heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and other tobacco-related disorders. There will always be some children and adolescents who use; the key question is whether there are behavioraland social data that in­ dicate a way to reduce the number of children who begin this deadly habit. The most effective policies might be those that are universal in­ terventions that both reduce youth access to tobaccoproducts and pro­ mote tobacco-free norms through taxation of tobacco products, regu­ lation of tobacco products, enforcementof youth access laws, con­ straints on advertising and promotion, and tobacco control advocacy for tobacco-free environments (Jason, Biglan & Katz, 1998). It is beyond the scope of this article to review all of these preventive policies, and below we wil l focus on the potential of curtailing youth access to to­ bacco.