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date: 10 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs by youth and young adults is a major public health challenge across nations and the world. This chapter reviews the extensive international research concerning the use of public policy approaches to reducing these problems associated with the use and misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. In general, wide differences arise in public policies both in the type of research undertaken and the practical application of policy approaches to reduce harm. For illegal drugs and for alcohol, research concerning public health effects has been associated with policies addressing specific control mechanisms, whereas many public health policy approaches for tobacco harm prevention have been multifaceted. Overall, the cumulative international evidence offers public health policy approaches with demonstrated potential to reduce harm from and use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs and can have specific effects for adolescents and young adults.

Keywords: substance abuse, public health policy, alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, prevention

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