June 18, 2019

College Affirmative Action Bans Linked to Higher Rates of Smoking Among Minority Youth

"Banning the use of affirmative action in college admissions can harm the health of minority high school students, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine suggests.

The study, published in PLOS Medicine, found that in states with a ban, smoking among black, Hispanic, and Native American high school students increased nearly 4 percent after those bans were put into place. Some students continued smoking for years into adulthood.

But the bans had no significant effect on white students’ behaviors, the study found.

“'Educational policies can have these unintended health consequences,” said Atheendar Venkataramani, a co-author of the study and assistant professor of health policy at Penn. “Social policies really matter for health, and it’s worth talking about.'”

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