To be fair, given that early initiation of smoking is associated with long-term nicotine dependence and tobacco-related diseases, perhaps it is understandable that many practitioners and researchers have adopted a precautionary approach to tobacco control and prevention, especially for young people, as we see here with California’s new Tobacco 21 laws.

However, these top down social policy approaches are not inclusive of all voices. They often fail to accommodate the perspectives and practices of youth, and by neglecting youth’s perspectives, we may run the risk of falling short of our own goals by perpetuating smoking, not discouraging smoking, among some youth.

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