Whitman County Public Health Joins Statewide Effort to Educate Public About Tobacco and Vapor 21 Legislation
As part of its work to protect youth from the risks of tobacco and vapor products, Whitman County Public Health is reminding 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 21.
In 2018, one in five Washington 10th graders and one in three 12th graders reported using vapor products (Healthy Youth Survey). Similar rates were reported locally, in Whitman County. Nearly all people who smoke begin smoking before age 21—while their brains are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine—and most young people get tobacco and nicotine products from peers in their social networks who can legally buy them. Youth who vape are at an increased risk of initiating cigarette smoking; raising the legal age of sale will help protect kids and teens by preventing them from getting tobacco and vapor products from 18, 19 or 20 year olds. Research shows that raising the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products to 21 will reduce the number of youth who develop a lifelong addiction to nicotine and save thousands of lives.
Including Washington State, Tobacco and Vapor 21 is currently the law – or is due to go into effect – in 18 states as well as D.C. and Guam.