Dr. Russ Callaghan to examine effects of minimum age on tobacco sales

July 4, 2017
Dr. Russ Callaghan

Do age restrictions on tobacco purchases really help curb smoking among youth?

Dr.  Russ Callaghan with the Northern Medical Program will be exploring this query as part of a $75,000 grant for a one-year project that he has received from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (CIHR-IHDCYH). 

"Experts in Canada and the United States have argued that raising the minimum age of tobacco sales would dramatically reduce smoking among youth and produce long-term health benefits for society,” said Dr. Callaghan. “But surprisingly little research has assessed the impacts of minimum age tobacco restrictions. This CIHR grant will provide invaluable support for our research team to generate scientific results to help guide tobacco-control policy in Canada, as well as in the United States."

Dr. Callaghan and his research team will specifically look at the effects of Canada's minimum age of tobacco sales on child and youth smoking behaviour across the country. The team will include collaborators from the University of Toronto, and potentially undergraduate students from UNBC.

As part of gathering information for this project,  Dr. Callaghan will be using the new Research Data Centre that was recently opened at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC).

The CIHR-IHDCYH is investing $1.85 million to fund 25 one-year research projects that are using existing data to answer novel research questions and test innovative hypotheses with the potential to improve reproductive, maternal and child health outcomes.