Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress – Statewide Bill Tracker

3/24/2017 – House Bill 1054 scheduled for executive session in the House Committee on Finance
2/3/2017 – House Bill 1054 passed out of House Health Care & Wellness Committee, referred to House Finance Committee
1/23/2017 – Senate Bill 5025 referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor, & Sports
1/19/2017 – Senate Bill 5025 passed out of Senate Committee on Health Care
1/12/2017 – Attorney General and over 30 co-sponsors introduce House Bill 1054, the bill has been referred to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee
1/12/2017 – Attorney General and 13 co-sponsors introduce Senate Bill 5025, the bill has been referred to the Senate Health Care Committee
1/29/2016 – House Bill 2313 passes Health Care and Wellness Committee by 9-0 vote
1/11/2016 – Attorney General and 10 co-sponsors introduce Senate Bill 6157
1/11/2016 – Attorney General and over two dozen co-sponsors introduce House Bill 2313
4/7/2015 –Washington House Bill 1458 referred to Rules Committee
4/3/2015 –Washington House Bill 1458 passed by Finance Committee
1/22/2015 – Attorney General Bob Ferguson introduces Tobacco 21 bill, Senate Bill 5494, to Senate
1/21/2105 – Attorney General Bob Ferguson introduces Tobacco bill, House Bill 1458, to House

The Tobacco 21 movement is alive and well in Washington, thanks to the fervent support of Attorney General Bob Ferguson and multiple stakeholder groups representing a wide array of Washington residents. On January 12, 2017, the Washington Attorney General Office pre-filed bills to both the Senate and House that would raise the tobacco and nicotine age to 21. The Senate Bill has 13 co-sponsors, the House bill has 30 co-sponsors.

Washington’s Tobacco 21 bills:
Washington Senate Bill 5025
Washington House Bill 1054

Washington currently has one of the lowest rates of both high school and adult smoking in the country. However, there are still an estimated 104,000 children under the age of 18 that will eventually die prematurely due to smoking, with 2,800 children becoming daily smokers every year. The result is a $2.81 billion annual health care cost that is directly caused by smoking. Unfortunately, the state only spends only 5.7% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, though it does have a tax of The state law also contains preemption language the prevents local governments from enacting stricter regulations regarding youth access to tobacco. This language would need to altered or removed for Tobacco 21 to gain local support through passage of local ordinances. Localities can still be involved in the process by testifying in support and petitioning your City Council or County Commissioners to sign resolutions in support of the statewide effort. For more information you may contact:

Dave Horn
Chief Deputy
WA Attorney General

Lindsay Hovind
Senior Director, Government Relations
American Heart Association

Eric Brodell
Western Regional Director
Tobacco 21

Annie Tegen
Director, Western Region
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Beverly May
Extremely well versed in the 21 issue, personally helped to engineer efforts in Hawaii and California.
Director Western States
Tobacco Free Kids

Visit our sources:

Washington T21 Campaign Website: “This webpage can help you get involved in Washington’s effort to raise the age by educating yourself on the tolls of smoking in Washington, sending letters to your legislators, and keeping up on recent news.”

Tobacco Free Kids Washington: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

American Lung Association State Report Card: “The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.”

SLATI State Information Washington: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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