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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Washington. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Washington’s elected officials:

  1. Increase funding for tobacco prevention and quit programs;
  2. End the sale of flavored tobacco products; and
  3. Defend Washington’s Clean Indoor Air law.
Senator Saldaña once again championed legislation to eliminate all commercial tobacco youth possession, use, and purchase (PUP) laws and all enforcement actions against youth under the age of 18 and increasing penalties on retailers. This legislation, Senate Bill 5365 had a similar bill, House Bill, 1497 in the House sponsored by Representative Paul Harris.

Key legislators in the Senate were uncomfortable removing all PUP provisions. The resulting compromise is a substantive step towards more equitable enforcement. The legislation passed the House 57 to 39 and in the Senate 29 to 19. The legislation was signed by Governor Inslee on May 9, 2023. Passage of this bill was the culmination of a multi-year effort; advocacy for this policy began during the work on the Tobacco 21 legislation passed in 2019.

The final 2024-2025 Operating Budget (Senate Bill 5187) appropriated $5.0 million from the state general fund to tobacco prevention and cessation programs. This appropriation represents the first dedicated ongoing dollars from the state general fund in over ten years, but does represent a cut from the $5 million allocated for one year last fiscal year .

The American Lung Association will continue to work with volunteers and stakeholders to advocate for additional dedicated dollars for tobacco prevention and quit programs. In addition, the Lung Association will continue growing public awareness and support for ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

Washington Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $2,811,911,987
Adult Smoking Rate: 10.00%
High School Smoking Rate: 1.90%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: N/A
Middle School Smoking Rate: 1.30%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 8,290
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school (10th grade only) and middle school (8th grade only) smoking rates are taken from the 2021 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. A current high school tobacco use rate is not available for this state.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Washington Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

State Grades Report Laws & Policies Historical Data