OLYMPIA, Wash. - 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 https://t.co/BlRUQggC2q— 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.
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."
Catch up on the day's news and look ahead to tomorrow by signing up for the Daily Local email newsletter from KXLY4. Headlines, events, and staff picks every weeknight at 8 p.m. Sign up HERE to get your news on the D.L.
Unity in the Community draws thousands to Riverfront Park
Help a local nonprofit raise money for families in need of medical travel
- Unity in the Community draws thousands to Riverfront Park
- Help a local nonprofit raise money for families in need of medical travel
- There's still time this August to check out Sunday Art Mart
- One driver dead in crash near Tensed
- Spokane Valley shooting witness: 'You just don't think it's going to happen where you are'
- Judge dismisses lawsuit against Mike Leach by former WSU football player