TALLAHASSEE, FL – February 20, 2020 – Today, the House Commerce Committee passed House bill 7089.
Washington House Passes Bill to Raise Tobacco Sales Age to 21
House Bill 1074 Would Increase Age of Sale for All Tobacco Products Including Electronic Cigarettes
OLYMPIA, Wash.—February 20, 2019—Today, the Washington House of Representatives passed House Bill 1074, sponsored by Rep. Paul Harris (R-Vancouver), that would raise the age of sale for all tobacco products including electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21. The bill now heads to the Senate.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has been leading efforts to pass this legislation in Washington for several years. Mary McHale, Washington government relations director for ACS CAN, released the following statement:
"This legislation is so important to help save lives from a preventable death and protect youth from a lifetime addiction. E-cigarettes and other tobacco products are rampant in our schools and communities. High school is a crucial time when youth become addicted to tobacco and we know that most young teens are getting tobacco products from their 18-year-old classmates.
"In fact, 95 percent of all adults who smoke begin before age 21 – and this year alone, nearly 14,000 Washington kids will try smoking for the first time. However, if we can prevent kids from picking up tobacco products during their vulnerable teen years, we know that most of them won’t start later in life.
"We are excited about the progress this bill has made so quickly this session and we are hopeful that it will pass the Senate quickly and become law so that we can save more lives and protect more kids."
If passed and signed into law, Washington will become the seventh state to raise the tobacco sales age to 21, joining California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death, killing more than 8,300 Washingtonians each year.
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.