SEATTLE, Wash.—April 5, 2019--Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1074 into law today, raising the age of sale for all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes to 21 in Washington state, effective January 1, 2020.
Mary McHale, the Washington government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, released the following statement in celebration of the new law:
"Today is a great day for public health and the future health of Washington’s youth. Given that 95 percent of all adults who smoke start before age 21, this new law will help save lives from a preventable death and protect youth across the state from a lifetime addiction.
"This year alone, nearly 14,000 Washington kids will try smoking for the first time. We know high school is a critical time when many people become addicted to tobacco. If we can keep young people away from these products during their vulnerable adolescent years, most of them won’t start later.
"ACS CAN thanks our partners, Rep. Paul Harris, Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Inslee for their leadership and support in taking steps to protect Washington’s youth from Big Tobacco."
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, and this year more than 8,300 Washington residents will die from smoking. Smoking also causes nearly 30 percent of cancer deaths.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org