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.
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, Massachusetts, Virginia 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.
#Tobacco21 is the most preventative, cost-effective policy we can adopt to protect the health of our youth. Trudi and I have supported this bill for years – and I look forward to signing it. #RaiseTheAge #Washington21 #waleg pic.twitter.com/7ifXweZTES
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 27, 2019
This story was originally published on March 27.