Tobacco use prevention
- 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report released (01/06/23)
- Applications open for youth advocate of the year awards! (01/06/23)
- California's ban on flavored tobacco products allowed to move forward (12/14/22)
- Annual Synar Report Available For Review (12/12/22)
- Ban of flavored tobacco products in California (11/10/22)
Addressing tobacco use is a state priority.
- Nine out of 10 smokers start by age 18, and 99 percent start by age 26 (The Health Consequences of Smoking – 50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2014).
- 104,000 youth alive today will die prematurely from smoking (The Health & Economic Toll of Commercial Tobacco in Washington State).
Tobacco use by youth in Washington State:
- E-cigarette/vapor product use increased significantly between 2016 and 2018. 10th grade youth reporting vape useage in the past 30 days increased from 13 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2018. (Healthy Youth Survey, 2016 and 2018).
- 55 percent of 10th grade youth who vaped also reported using marijuana in 2018, compared to 7 percent of those who do not vape (Healthy Youth Survey, 2018).
Tobacco and vapor 21
In early 2019, Engrossed House Bill 1074 was passed. Effective January 1, 2020, it will be illegal to sell tobacco or vapor products to anyone under 21. For individuals and community groups working to raise awareness and understanding of the new law, a Community Education Packet is available. Consider visiting the following website for additional information and resources:
In late 2019, the age to purchase tobacco was raised to 21 with the signing of some Federal appropriations.
In October 2019, the Washington State Board of Health [SBOH] passed an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vapor products in the state. This ban is effective as of October 10 and is in effect for 120 days. For more information, visit www.theathenaforum.org/flavored-vapor-product-ban-effect. In November 2019, the SBOH adopted a new section to the emergency rule, which bans the sale of vapor products containing vitamin E acetate. This section of the emergency rule is effective as of November 20 and will be in effect for 120 days. For more information, visit www.sboh.wa.gov/Rulemaking/CurrentRulesandActivity/VaporProductsandFlavors.
State-wide initiatives focused on tobacco
Prevention strategies are being implemented throughout the state at local, county, and state levels, across the Continuum of Care that influence multiple domains and risk and protective factors. Here is a list of some state-wide initiatives focused specifically on tobacco:
- Washington State Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Control Five-Year Strategic Plan 2021-2025 - provides goals, strategies, and tactics that guide tobacco prevention and control throughout Washington State. The development of this plan was facilitated by the Washington State Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.
- Tobacco and Vapor Product Prevention and Control Program - Washington State Department of Health
- Multi-agency support of Annual Synar Report to ensure compliance with Public Health Service Act and the Tobacco Regulation for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant
The Synar Amendment requires states to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18. Each state is required to completed unannounced compliance checks of tobacco retailers and report the violation rate annually to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Washington State Synar stakeholder information:
- DBHR’s Washington's Best Practices for Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Guide
- Washington State Commercial Tobacco Prevention and Control Five-Year Strategic Plan 2021-2025
- Tobacco - Department of Health
- Smoking & Tobacco Use – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Youth Tobacco Prevention – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Youth Engagement in Tobacco Prevention & Control – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Surgeon General Tobacco Reports and Publications
Community groups can play a key part in keeping tobacco and vapor products out of the hands of youth by reaching out to their local retailers. Here are some resources to help:
Prevention System Manager