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Washington is the 10th state to pass a Tobacco 21 policy statewide.
Washington currently has a below average rate of high school and an above average rate of adult smoking. However, there are still an estimated 104,000 children under the age of 18 that will eventually die prematurely due to smoking, with 2,500 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 6.5% 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: