Research finds less teens smoking in areas where licensing laws are tougher

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(CNN) -- Retail licensing laws seem to be working when it comes to keeping teens from using tobacco. That's according to new research published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

The study found that teens who live in areas that have stronger regulations on the sale of tobacco could be at lower risk of tobacco use. Researchers questioned almost 3,000 teens who lived in areas that varied widely in terms of how tough their tobacco licensing laws were--from very tough to very lax.

The youths were questioned on tobacco use when they were in 11th and 12th grades, then again at the age of 18. Those that lived in areas with strong enforcement of tobacco regulations were one-third to one-half less likely to use tobacco, as compared to residents of areas with weaker requirements.

Sales of tobacco products, especially e-cigarettes, are still booming online. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping is becoming increasingly popular amongst teens, jumping 78% between 2017 and 2018.