You will soon have to be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco products on the entire West Coast of the continental United States, as Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, has announced that he will sign a bill raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old during a ceremony on Friday at 3 p.m. at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
With his signature, Washington will become the ninth state to enact such an increase.
The bill, H.B. 1074, passed by the Senate by a 33-12 vote and the House of Representatives by a tally of 66-30. It 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.
The increase will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
Washington joins Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia and Utah, the last two of those group doing so this year. The list could soon grow to over ten states, as the legislatures in both New York and Illinois have passed similar ordinances that are waiting on signatures from their respective governors.