Washington House Passes Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase

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The Washington state House of Representatives has approved its version of a bill that will increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old, approving it on Wednesday by a 66-3o vote with two members absent.

The bill does not make any changes to laws regarding the possession or use of tobacco, leaving that at 18-years-old. It also will not affect sales on military installations, and it will not seek a penalty for possession of tobacco products by a person under 21-years-old.

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Washington has tried to pass similar increases in several of the most recent legislative sessions, with the idea becoming a priority for Attorney General, Bob Ferguson. Last year, similar legislation received the approval of the House of Representatives but did not receive a vote in the Senate.

The bill, H.B. 1074, now heads to the Senate for further deliberation. If passed as written, the increase will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Currently, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon have all raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco alternatives to 21-years-old. Roughly 20 states have active legislation seeking similar increases.

Featured image by User:Cacophony [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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