Studies continue to prove that PUP tobacco laws (possession, use, and purchase) do not cause any reduction in juvenile smoking. PUP laws only affect the very small percentage of underage users who are caught and penalized. These youth experience an uncertain punishment and a drawn-out legal process. The extensive amount of time that occurs between the offense and the penalty creates a disconnect which severely weakens the intended effect of a deterrent. Not only are the punishments ineffective but they undermine other types of productive discipline: parent-child punishment, educational means of discipline within a school environment. Additionally, increased attention on PUP laws steals attention from other effective strategies that ward against youth smoking such as penalizing corporate targeting of youths in marketing campaigns. An important study on the effectiveness of PUP tobacco laws by Wakefield and Giovino can be found here. If you or your child are concerned about the punishments for violating laws concerning possession, use and purchase of tobacco or other drugs you should contact an attorney who is well versed in dealing with youth and drugs. Hiring a qualified attorney will prevent you/your child from being caught in an ineffective system of punishment.
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