Inslee signs bill raising WA smoking age to 21

Inslee signs bill raising WA smoking age to 21 N.K.
1970: President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the surgeon general's warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertisements on television and radio in the United States, effective Jan. 2, 1971.

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law Friday that raises Washington’s smoking age to 21.

The law will take effect January 1, 2020. Washington now joins six states and nearly 400 cities and counties that have already raised the age to buy tobacco to 21.

95 percent of smokers start before the age of 21. Today WA joins the growing number of states and 400+ cities that recognize the opportunity to save lives by raising the age for purchasing tobacco and vaping products to 21. The #Tobacco21 law WILL save lives. #waleg

— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) April 5, 2019

The bill not only raises the age to purchase tobacco, but also to purchase e-cigarettes and other vaping products.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee says he will sign bill to raise WA smoking age to 21

CDC data showed youth smoking has been trending downward since at least 2011, but vaping has seen a dramatic increase. Late last year, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory showing e-cigarette use had jumped 78 percent among high schoolers from 2017-2018.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson offered his thoughts on the bill in a statment on Friday.

“I’m proud that because of our collective action, fewer children will lose their freedom by getting addicted to nicotine,” said Ferguson.

“Fewer Washingtonians will suffer from pain associated with smoking-related illnesses, and fewer family members will grieve the loss of loved ones whose lives were cut unnecessarily short.”

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