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Posted on: November 8, 2019

JCPH Joins Statewide Effort to Educate Public About Tobacco and Vapor 21 Legislation

tobacco 21 simple message

November 8, 2019

For Immediate Release

Karen Obermeyer

Jefferson County Public Health


As part of its work to protect kids and teens from smoking and vaping, Jefferson County Public Health is reminding the public that Engrossed House Bill 1074 goes into effect on January 1, 2020, when it will become illegal to sell tobacco and vapor products to anyone under 21.

“Young people in Washington are in the middle of a vaping epidemic,” said Vicki Kirkpatrick, Jefferson County Public Health Director. “Raising the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products to 21 will reduce the number of kids who develop a lifelong addiction to nicotine and save thousands of lives.”

In 2018, one in five Washington 10th graders and one in three 12th graders reported using vapor products (Healthy Youth Survey). In Jefferson County, over 37% of tenth graders reported using vapor products. Nearly all people who smoke begin smoking before age 21—while their brains are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine—and most young people get tobacco and nicotine products from peers in their social networks who can legally buy them. Kids who vape are at an increased risk of initiating cigarette smoking; raising the legal age of sale will help protect young people by preventing them from getting tobacco products and vapor products from 18, 19, or 20 year olds. Washington State is the 18th state, as well as D.C. and Guam, to increase the legal age for tobacco and vapor product sales to 21 years old

Jefferson County has taken an additional measure to protect the health of its residents by expanding the clean indoor air ordinance to include “No Vaping” in indoor public places, places of employment and within 25 feet of entrances. Now, vaping is prohibited in the same places that smoking is prohibited. For complete details of the ordinance go to

Tobacco kills more than 8,000 Washingtonians each year. Washingtonians can get free help to quit smoking or vaping by contacting the Washington State Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or by accessing a smartphone app at Parents and schools can find more information about how to address youth vaping at


Jefferson County Public Health
Always Working for a Safer and Healthier Community

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