Hinging on economic theory predictions, this dissertation empirically examines the extent to which public policies influence youths and young adults smoking behaviors in Mexico. In the following, the decision to conduct the analysis separate for men and for women, in acknowledgement of separate gender paradigms, has yielded illuminating insights. This study contains three separate but related essays. The first essay develops a new index of clean indoor air policies, analyzing the role of these policies --and other variables-- as determinants of cigarette consumption. The new index and previously developed indices are positively correlated, but imperfectly so. More stringent laws are negatively associated with the number of cigarettes smoked by men, but have no influence on smoking participation for either men or women. The statistical and economically meaningful predictors of smoking vary with the dependent variable (i.e. smoking participation and conditional intensity), and by gender.