Washington State All Set to Raise Minimum Age for Buying Vaping Products and Tobacco
The usage of tobacco and vaping products among teens in Washington has now forced the state to take matters into its own hands, and it was decided at the Senate today that the minimum age for purchasing such products is going to be raised to 21 years. The law will come into effect next year. As revealed by Bob Ferguson, the Attorney General of the state, the bill was approved with a majority of 33-12 by the Senate and from next year, Washington will be among the 9 states in the United States which have raised the age to 21. However, what is interesting to note with regards to this vote in the Washington Senate is the fact that even some Republicans had supported this bill and in addition to that, well known vaping products company Juul had also supported the bill.
The bill will now be sent to Governor Jaw Inslee for ratification. The bill had originally been mooted by the Attorney General of the State of Washington and the Department of Health. However, another outcome of this new law, according to Bob Ferguson, is that people who are within the 18-20 age group are often known to buy tobacco and then pass that on to younger people. Due to the presence of this law, that is no longer going to happen. The vaping company Juul, which supported the bill responded through a spokesperson and stated that as a vaping company, they are against the use of their products by those below 20. The spokesperson Ted Kwong stated, “We cannot fulfill our mission to provide the world’s one billion adult smokers with a true alternative to combustible cigarettes if youth use continues unabated.”
The basis of the law is in the complaints that from school principals who were finding it hard to control the students from vaping inside schools and from then on, Republican Senator Paul Harris pushed the bill as its sponsor. According to the provisions of the law, an underage person buying these products will be charged with the gross misdemeanour. When talking about how the bill passed the Senate comfortably, Harris stated that it was primarily down to the fact that there are genuine concerns among people about the scourge of tobacco and vaping among teenagers. He stated, “We’ve heard from a lot of principals, and a lot of school districts were really having an issue with kids vaping now.”