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Lawmakers alerted on new tobacco control policies by research team

The Smoking ban around the world can be materialized by increasing cigarette taxes, raising the smoking age and adopting new or enforcing current regulations that prevent or delay youth smoking according to a researchers. // This move is expected to improve the lives of billions of people addicted to this habit. It is time that lawmakers quickly adopt the suggestion and act accordingly.

“Our research shows that reducing smoking initiation in youth is likely to offer the largest public health impact during this new century,” said Daniel Stokols, UCI professor of planning, policy and design, who helped establish the consortium to spread awareness about smoking.

The timing of the recommendation is just right with California legislators debating regarding budget and program issues concerning smoking prevention, cessation and tobacco licensing.

With our escalating knowledge of how young people become vulnerable to nicotine addiction and the harmful effects of smoking, policy makers and educators now have an unprecedented opportunity to adopt bold new measures for preventing adolescent smoking and nicotine addiction, according to a researcher.

The following recommendations have been suggested to curb the habit among the smoking population, especially teenagers and adolescents.

1. Raise cigarette taxes by 20 percent to levels equal to or greater than those of highest-taxing states.

2. Urge law enforcement to actively implement existing laws that prohibit retailers from selling tobacco to minors by conducting frequent compliance checks to identify retailers who sell tobacco to minors, and to penalize violators with a graduated series of fines and civil penalties.

3. Promote laws that mandate a permit or license for stores that sell tobacco, and revoke licenses for repeated sales to minors. Fees from licensing of tobacco vendors can be used to fund enforcement activities and to develop and m aintain active, large-scale programs.

4. Raise the legal age for sale or purchase and consumption of tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21.

5. Promote policies and enforce existing laws for smoke-free parks, playgrounds and outdoor recreation areas accessible to young people.

6. Eliminate tobacco-vending machines and self-service displays in stores accessible to young people.

7. Improve community education about the risks of adolescent smoking, and urge the public to adopt polices that prevent the sharing of tobacco products with minor.

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