Bill to raise smoking age gaining support

Staff Writer

A Stuart Elway poll released this week shows an overwhelming 65 percent of Washingtonians support raising the sale age of tobacco to 21. This result shows clear public support for Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s proposal to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and vapor products to 21.
The poll, commissioned by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and issued by Elway Research, an independent research firm, surveyed 500 registered voters in Washington State from Dec. 28-30, 2015. The results show strong support among both men and women and in every region of the state. Support in Eastern Washington (66 percent) was similar to support in Western Washington (70 percent). Additionally, the poll found strong support across political ideology, with 66 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats supporting increasing the tobacco sale age.
“Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States,” said Ferguson. “Elway’s poll proves Washingtonians agree: It is time to make this common-sense change to state law and save kids’ lives.”
Ferguson’s proposal would make Washington the second state, after Hawaii, to raise the legal tobacco sale age to 21.
The Attorney General request legislation has strong bipartisan support through Senate Bill 6157, sponsored by Sen. Mark Miloscia (R-Federal Way), and its companion bill, House Bill 2313, sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines).
Among the sponsors for HB 2313 is Seventh District Rep. Shelly Short.

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