Washington State May Raise Smoking Age to 21

House okays higher age limit for smoking, vaping and sends bill to the Senate.

February 25, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering whether to raise the state’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21, a law that would impact the purchase of any tobacco or vapor products, the Spokesman reports.

House Bill 1074 has passed the House 66-30 despite objections from people who believe those who are old enough to vote and join the military are old enough to make their own decisions.

Raising the age for nicotine products has been a long-time quest in the Legislature and backed by the state Department of Health and anti-smoking advocates. The House passed similar legislation near the end of the 2018 session, but the Senate didn’t vote on it before the Legislature adjourned.

Not everyone supports the bill.  Some legislators object to the lack of punishment for underage consumers who smoke illegally, and others have described the bill as an example of “the creeping nanny state,” with legislators telling adults what they can and cannot do.