Should the Smoking Age in Washington Be Raised to 21?

Lawmakers in WA are working to get it done... again

January 24, 2018

by dreamstime

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So Washington state is looking at raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 years old. The idea is that if most kids haven't started smoking by the age of 21, they probably won't pick it up after.

It's crazy how in the last couple decades movements like the Truth campaign combined with tougher standards have seen the removal of cigarettes from just about anything on TV, film, or magazines (RIP magazines). Race cars used to be tattooed in tobacco product logos and those days are long gone, too. There's pretty much no argument for the merits of smoking cigarettes or vaping.

People as recently as the 2000's used to smoke in bars and nightclubs?!? That seems so long ago. Good riddance. Now come within 25 feet of my window with a cigarette and it's like you dropped your pants and started to fertilize my (non) lawn.

It used to be "sexy" and "cool" to smoke. Now smokers, specifically in Seattle, are treated like diseased leppers ushered away from clean spaces. To be fair, smoking is gross. I have some friends who still do it and they still want to quit. They're hooked either chemically, socially, or mentally.

I won't even get into vape beyond saying, you do you, but I'd prefer if everything didn't smell like bubblegum or grape juice.

We get it Thomas, you vape.

There is, however, a population of people that don't want the government restricting what they do to themselves in the privacy of their own homes. I think the argument is more nuanced than that, but while I might not agree, I hear you.

Washington attorney general/political ninja, Bob Ferguson, got in on it saying, "when we first proposed this legislation, Washington would have been the first state to move to Tobacco 21. Last year, we would have been the third, now five states including Oregon and more than 200 cities and counties have increased the smoking age to 21... No bill in Olympia this session will save more lives than increasing the legal smoking age to 21." 

There's the age-old argument "we'll let people die for our country but you're not going to let them decide for themselves if they should smoke/drink/do-the-weed".

What do you think? Should it be taken from 18 to 21?

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