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Tobacco use prevention

Addressing tobacco use is a state priority.


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.

Vapor ban

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   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

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:

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:

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:

Community library - tobacco

Community library - e-cigarettes and vape