The Odessa Record -

Law requires tobacco/vaping buyers be age 21

 

December 12, 2019



The Lincoln County Health Department has joined a statewide effort to educate the public about legislation changing the age at which tobacco and vaping products can be sold to younger members of the public.

As part of its work to protect kids and teens from smoking and vaping, the Lincoln County Health Department reminds the public that Engrossed House Bill 1074 goes into effect on January 1, 2020, when it will become illegal to sell tobacco and vapor products to anyone under age 21.

“Young people in Washington are in the middle of a vaping epidemic,” said Dr. Monteagudo, Lincoln County Health Officer. “Raising the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products to 21 will reduce the number of kids who develop a lifelong addiction to nicotine and save thousands of lives.”

In 2018, 36 percent of Lincoln County 10th-graders and 50 percent of 12th-graders reported using vapor products (Healthy Youth Survey). Nearly all people who smoke begin smoking before the age of 21 – while their brains are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine – and more young people get tobacco and nicotine products from peers and their social networks who can legally buy them. Kids who vape are at an increased risk of initiating cigarette smoking; raising the legal age of sale will help protect young people by preventing them from getting tobacco and vapor products from 18-, 19- or 20-year-old friends.

Including Washington, tobacco and vapor 21 is currently the law, or is due to go into effect in 18 states as well as the District of Columbia and Guam.

Tobacco kills more than 8,000 Washingtonians each year. Washingtonians can get free help to quit smoking or vaping by contacting the Washington State Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or by accessing a smart phone app at http://www.doh.wa.gov/quit. Parents and schools can find more information about how to address youth vaping at http://www.youthnow.me/schools

 

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