Washington Senate Passes Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase, Sends to Governor (Update)

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The Washington state Senate has passed a bill that seeks to make the minimum age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarettes 21-years-old, joining the House in supporting the bill and sending it to the desk of Gov. Jay Inslee.

Wednesday’s third reading was followed by a 33-12 vote in favor of the bill, with four members of the Senate absent. The House passed the same bill last month by a 66-30 vote.

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If signed into law by Inslee, the increase will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, and Washington will join Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, MassachusettsVirginia and Utah in supporting what has become known as Tobacco 21 legislation.

Washington has been one the more proactive states in trying to get such an increase passed, having attempted it in several of the most recent legislative sessions. Passing an increase has become a priority for Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who has supported the legislation and requested its drafting and passage.

Update (March 29, 2019) — Gov. Inslee has announced via Twitter that he intends to sign the bill.

This story was originally published on March 27.

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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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