Anti-smoking advocates in Washington state are trying for the third consecutive year to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21-years-old. This year, it’s S.B. 6048, which was introduced by Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, and has already received bipartisan support from 16 other senators.

As in past years, the bill was introduced at the request of Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general, and John Wiesman, secretary of the state’s health department. Both testified to the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Monday when the bill got its first hearing.

Should it pass, the increase would take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Washington is one of several states with active legislation seeking to raise the minimum tobacco purchasing age, joining New Hampshire, Indiana, Alabama, Florida, West Virginia and Arizona, as well as a bill that has been introduced at the federal level. Currently five states have passed the increase: Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Maine and Oregon.

Patrick Lagreid

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.