Washington state lawmakers are going on a crusade against the vaping industry.
Preaching health concerns of vaping products and combustible cigarettes, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in unison with the Department Of Health, are marching toward a battlefield for raising the legal vaping age from 18 to 21 years old, according to WNPA Olympia News Bureau.
Ferguson’s opening volley included the release of House Bill 1074, which received bipartisan support from 11 representatives. State House Minority Leader Paul Harris, a Republican, lead the charge by introducing the bill, WNPA reported.
The bill, which cited recent age increases at more than six states and 350 counties and communities nation-wide, remained focused on cutting into the legal purchases of the older segment of high school students, serving as a washed-out bridge in gaining access to vaping devices.
An employee from Lacey-based Driftwood Vapor told WNPA the bill’s intentions are in the right place, but, in the end, teenagers who want to use e-cigs with their friends, will find a way. He did, he said.
“It will probably reduce underage usage,” Smith said. “It won’t be eliminated, though.”
On the other side of the debate, the Institute of Medicine applauded the legislation. A non-profit institution known for advising on health issues, the institute acknowledged the need to cut into the rising trend of teen vaping. The organization attributed about 90 percent of long-term daily smokers started with traditional cigarettes before they turned 19 years old.
The institute believes by raising the legal age by three years will help delay early experiences for minors, especially those in high schools and middle schools.
Other health organizations had an influence on the Washington state vaping bill’s development. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse suggested individuals under the age of 25 years old are highly susceptible to addictive substances, like tobacco, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim six million annual deaths can be tied to nicotine-abuse, according to WNPA.
Let the crusade begin.
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