Washington is the latest state that will be raising its smoking and vaping age to 21. The Washington State Senate just passed a bill and Gov. Jay Inslee quickly signed it earlier this month.
This is a push going on nationwide in cities and states. Washington is the ninth state in the nation to raise the smoking/vaping age to 21.
This is something I’ve long had slightly mixed feelings about. I think there’s a valid argument that if you’re old enough to vote, join the military and go to adult jail, you’re old enough to smoke and vape.
From a Seattle Times article:
During debate over the measure, Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, pointed out that 18-year-olds can make major life decisions such as joining the military, and called it hypocritical to stop them from smoking if they wanted.
“The nanny state is alive and well, and this is another example,” said Padden.
However, I also hear the argument that this is a tool to stop the rapid increase in teen vaping. If you have to be 21 to buy vaping products it makes it that much harder for some 15-year-old kid to do it in a convenience store.
There are bills in other states, such as Virginia and Texas, to raise the smoking age, but I have no idea if there is any chance of passage in these states.