Tobacco Control

Working with state and federal agencies to reduce youth access to tobacco products

Tobacco use continues to pose a significant public health risk for Americans of all ages, and adolescents are especially at risk. As adolescent brains are still developing, nicotine exposure during youth and young adulthood can change the way the brain works, leading to a lifetime of addiction.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) data for 2018 showed a sharp reversal of the declines in previous years of youth tobacco use, with more than three million American high school students and 570,000 middle school students reporting vaping (the use of e-cigarettes) in the past month. E-cigarettes have high nicotine content, and their appealing flavors and the ability to be easily concealed are likely factors involved in the surge.

JBS has a long-standing history of working with state and federal government agencies to reduce youth access to tobacco products via local retailers. We have provided technical assistance to both states and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in support of their Synar programming. We also contract with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in five states, helping them implement their Tobacco Retail Inspection Program, and we are subcontracted to do FDA inspections in an additional state. 

JBS develops accurate, timely, and effective sampling designs and compliance inspection protocols. We work with states to identify tobacco retailers—including those that sell emerging tobacco products—which improves states’ ability to target enforcement, merchant education, and community and stakeholder mobilization. JBS is currently working with a state that has seen its retail violation rate drop from 20.3% to 12.7% because of improved program implementation. JBS staff also designed a form in an electronic format for inspectors to collect data for not only Synar inspections, but also other tobacco enforcement inspections.

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