Tobacco and Vapor 21 Legislation
Posted on 11/27/2019
TV 21 Signage

As part of its work to protect youth from the risks of tobacco and vapor products, Benton-Franklin Health District 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. 

In 2018, one in five Washington 10th graders and one in three 12th graders reported using vapor products (Healthy Youth Survey). Similar rates were reported locally, in Benton and Franklin counties. Tobacco kills more than 8,000 Washingtonians each year, and nearly all people who smoke begin smoking before the age of 21 while their brains are particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine. Youth who use vapor products are also at an increased risk of initiating cigarette smoking.

Most youth report getting tobacco and nicotine products from peers in their social networks who can legally purchase them. Although no one solution can completely prevent youth use of tobacco and vapor products, raising the legal age of sale will help protect kids and teens by preventing them from getting these products from 18, 19 or 20 year olds.

Including Washington State, tobacco and vapor 21 is currently the law – or is due to go into effect – in 18 states as well as D.C. and Guam. Research shows that raising the age of sale for tobacco and vapor products to 21 will reduce the number of youth who develop a lifelong addiction to nicotine and save thousands of lives.

For help with quitting smoking or vaping, please see this list of national, state and local Cessation Resources in Benton and Franklin counties. Parents and schools can find more information about how to address youth vaping at