Date of Award

Winter 1-3-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Partha Deb

Second Advisor

Matthew J. Baker

Academic Program Adviser

Karna Basu


Over the past few years, several states have passed laws that increase the minimum legal purchasing age (MLPA) for tobacco from 18 to 21 years. This study examines the impact of statewide MLPA laws on youth tobacco consumption. Using data from the 2009-2019 Youth Risky Behavior Surveys (YRBS) and a difference-in-differences approach, I find that the enactment of MLPA laws is associated with a decrease in tobacco usage among adolescents. I also find that MLPA laws have important spillover effects to other youth risky behaviors. MLPA law adoption is associated with a reduction in cocaine use and inhalant abuse.



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