About the Campaign

Washington 21 is a coalition of organizations whose mission is to save lives by preventing tobacco use. About 95% of smokers start before age 21. In Washington, 2,100 kids become new daily smokers every year. And one-third of them will die prematurely as a result. Raising the tobacco sale age to 21 is an effective strategy to fight tobacco use and it’s gaining momentum nationwide. California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon have raised their tobacco sale ages to 21, along with at least 350 cities and counties across the country. Now there’s an effort under way to do the same in Washington. Let’s get it done.

Tell your state legislators to raise Washington’s tobacco age to 21

In the News

Recent news coverage of Washington 21.

“Raising the age to 21 to purchase tobacco will drastically reduce the number of Washingtonians who smoke and significantly decreasing the disease burden and health-care costs for our young people as they grow up.” — The Seattle Times, December 30, 2018

“Sometimes we must do the right thing,” said Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver, during a House Finance Committee meeting Jan. 23. “This is not about criminalizing young people that are already smoking, it’s about easing away from a bad habit that people regret later.” — The Columbian, February 9, 2018

““This would be a tremendous opportunity to dramatically reduce smoking initiation and prevent future generations from a lifetime of suffering,” Hovind said.” — The Spokesman-Review, February 1, 2018

“THIS special legislative session, Washington state lawmakers have an opportunity to be public health heroes. By raising the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 we can save lives and money in Washington state.” — The Seattle Times May 24, 2017

““No bill in Olympia this session will save more lives than increasing the legal smoking age to 21,” Ferguson said.” — The Chronicle, January 23, 2018

“Keeping young people off tobacco is one of the kindest steps legislators can take, irrespective of whether they are in the armed services and certainly no matter what color they are. We’re right to legally insist that Washingtonians wear motorcycle helmets and fasten their seatbelts. The personal and societal costs of tobacco use are far more horrifying. Helping kids avoid this addiction will save their lives, and save millions in healthcare spending and lost productivity.” — Chinook Observer, August 15, 2017

“Washingtonians strongly support protecting children from tobacco. According to a 2015 Elway Research poll, an overwhelming 65 percent of Washingtonians support raising the tobacco sales age to 21.” — The Olympian, January 31, 2017

““By raising the age to 21, we are trying to protect the 15, 16, 17 year olds from ever getting addicted to nicotine so we can have the healthiest next generation,” Washington Secretary of Health John Weisman, DrPH, MPH said.” — Whitman Wire, February 9, 2017


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