OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill raising the state’s smoking age to 21, making it the ninth state in the nation to enact such a change.
Set to take effect in 2020, the bill signed by Inslee Friday raises the legal age for both tobacco products and so-called “vape” products, including e-cigarettes and other vapor devices, whether they include tobacco or not.
California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia and Oregon have already raised the smoking age inside their borders, as has Guam, according to the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control.
Supporters say the Washington measure will help eliminate youth smoking, but critics have called it a sign of a nanny state.
Proposals raising the smoking age have also passed Legislatures in New York, Illinois, and Maryland, but have yet to be signed into law.