Washington AG considers raising smoking age to 21

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Attorney General Bob Ferguson wants to make Washington state the first in the country where no one under 21 can have tobacco.

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Ferguson and lawmakers from the state House and Senate announced bills that would move the state's smoking age of 18 to 21, following the lead of several cities and counties nationwide. Possession of tobacco or e-cigarettes under 21 would be a civil offense. It would be a misdemeanor to sell or give tobacco to anyone under 21.

Ferguson and other officials said they were inspired to change Washington's smoking age after seeing the number of teenage smokers decline in cities that banned tobacco for those under 21. Similar bills failed in the last two years in Colorado, Utah and New Jersey.