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City Council Priority (Tobacco 21) Passes State Legislature

May 15, 2019 - The Mercer Island City Council identified ‘Tobacco 21’ – the effort to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years – as one of its state legislative priorities for 2019. This legislative effort, House Bill 1074, passed the Washington Legislature on March 27 and was signed by Governor Jay Inslee on April 5. Starting January 1, 2020, it will be illegal under Washington law to sell or give tobacco or vaping products to people under age 21.

“Access plays a role in youth decision making when it comes to addictive substance use, and we are encouraged that the State of Washington has taken this step to prevent youth use of nicotine products. We know that most adult nicotine users are addicted to tobacco products prior to their 21st birthday,” said Cindy Goodwin, Director of the City’s Youth and Family Services Department (MIYFS). “Council’s inclusion of public health measures such as ‘Tobacco 21’ in their legislative priorities is essential to communicating to our State government that health and wellbeing are policy issues that are important to our community.”

The Mercer Island Police Department and Mercer Island Youth and Family Services will be working together with other state, regional and local agencies on awareness campaigns, compliance checks, and cessation support for current 18 to 21-year-old youths already addicted to nicotine products.

Please contact MIYFS if you, or someone you know, are in need of addiction resources or support at 206-275-7611.


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