Rep. Tina Orwell sponsors bill to increase tobacco age limit to 21

by Jack Mayne

Des Moines state Rep. Tina Orwall is the state House sponsor of a measure that would make Washington the first state to raise the legal age for purchasing and possessing tobacco and vapor products to 21.

A news release issued Wednesday by Attorney General Bob Ferguson said companion bills to raise the age was introduced as House Bill 1458 by Orwall (D-Des Moines) and Senate Bill 5494 sponsored by Sen. Mark Miloscia (R-Federal Way).

“We know that tobacco is highly addictive, that most smokers begin to use nicotine in their teens and can later develop tobacco-related illnesses like cancer, emphysema and heart disease,” Orwall said. “By restricting use during youth we hope to break this cycle of addiction and, ultimately, save lives.”

Miloscia said the action “could drive a major decline in smoking addiction, help save human lives and reduce health care costs.”

Washington has long been at the forefront of the fight to protect youth from the dangers of smoking and the state is continuing that leadership role, Ferguson said.

The harmful consequences of tobacco are clear. Smoking kills 8,300 Washingtonians every year, and $2.8 billion in health care costs are directly attributed to tobacco use in the state. Washington state taxpayers pay nearly $400 million in taxes to cover state government expenditures caused by smoking. According to a recent report by the U.S. Surgeon General, over 100,000 of today’s Washington youth are projected to die prematurely due to the effects of smoking.

Ferguson said the bill would raise the legal age to purchase and possess tobacco and vapor products to 21, effectively reducing access among younger teens and providing long-term savings in health care costs.

Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah already prohibit the sale of tobacco products to persons under the age of 19, and some cities and counties have increased their smoking ages to 21.


2 Responses to “Rep. Tina Orwell sponsors bill to increase tobacco age limit to 21”
  1. AB in DM says:

    And so it begins. Now that the government is paying for your healthcare, they are going to start dictating what you can and cannot do with your body. Stands to reason.

    The same folks who will relentlessly chant “a woman’s right to choose” what to do with their body, will now dictate that choice. Liberal hypocrites.

    I’m no fan of smoking, but this bill should go down in flames just based on its high-handed presumptuousness.

  2. Tate Matson says:

    I am not trying to say people should smoke…but maybe Nicotine “Vitamins” in set does should be made available….Please see the FACTS about Nicotine…..Remember Nicotine is derived from a PLANT…..this is a natural chemical…………………………………………………………………………….Nicotine is a natural product of tobacco, occurring in the leaves in a range of 0.5 to 7.5% depending on variety.Nicotine appears to have significant performance enhancing effects, particularly in fine motor skills, attention, and memory. These beneficial cognitive effects may play a role in the initiation and maintenance of tobacco dependence. Nicotine is a potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (Solanaceae) and a stimulant drug. Nicotine intake has been proven prevent ulcerative colitis(irritable bowl syndrome / and some “forms” of Cronhn Syndrome) has been frequently shown to be reduced in smokers on a dose-dependent basis; the effect is eliminated if the individual stops smoking. Smoking also appears to greatly lower the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma in patients with HIVIt is a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist,[1][2] except at nAChRα9 and nAChRα10 where it acts as an antagonist.[1] It is made in the roots of and accumulates in the leaves of the nightshade family of plants. It constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of the dry weight of tobacco[3] and is present in the range of 2–7 µg/kg of various edible plants. Nicotine also naturally occurs in smaller amounts in plants from the family Solanaceae (such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant).Historically, nicotine has not been regarded as a carcinogen.[43] The IARC has not evaluated nicotine in its standalone form or assigned it to an official carcinogen group. While no epidemiological evidence supports that nicotine alone acts as a carcinogen in the formation of human cancer. There is evidence that nicotine itself has the potential to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. At low doses, nicotine potently enhances the actions of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, causing a drug effect typical of those of psychostimulants. At higher doses, nicotine enhances the effect of serotonin and opiate activity, producing a calming, pain-killing effect. Nicotine is unique in comparison to most drugs, as its profile changes from stimulant to sedative/pain killer in increasing dosages and use, a phenomenon described by Paul Nesbitt in his doctoral dissertation[35] and subsequently referred to as “Nesbitt’s Paradox”When a cigarette is smoked, nicotine-rich blood passes from the lungs to the brain within seven seconds and immediately stimulates the release of many chemical messengers such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, arginine vasopressin, serotonin, dopamine, and beta-endorphin.[28][29] This release of neurotransmitters and hormones is responsible for most of nicotine’s psychoactive effects. Nicotine appears to enhance concentration, and memory due to the increase of acetylcholine. It also appears to enhance alertness due to the increases of acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Arousal is increased by the increase of norepinephrine. Pain is reduced by the increases of acetylcholine and beta-endorphin. Anxiety is reduced by the increase of beta-endorphin. Nicotine also extends the duration of positive effects of dopamine[31] and increases sensitivity in brain reward systems.[32] Most cigarettes (in the smoke inhaled) contain 1 to 3 milligrams of nicotine. First causing a release of glucose from the liver and epinephrine (adrenaline) from the adrenal medulla, it causes stimulation. Users report feelings of relaxation, sharpness, calmness, and alertness

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