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Official: Clallam can’t change legal age for tobacco, vaping

June 22, 2018

Peninsula Daily News,

,

June 22, 2018-

Clallam County and cities within its borders may want to but can’t increase the state-mandated smoking and vaping legal age from 18 to 21, David Alvarez, county chief civil deputy prosecuting attorney, told the Board of Health on Tuesday. Port Angeles City Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin told the board that Clallam County and other jurisdictions statewide should challenge the law in court.

Alvarez cited the Revised Code of Washington, which “pre-empts political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of” vapor and tobacco product promotions and sales at retail stores. That prompted health board members to hold off recommending to county commissioners that the tobacco-vaping use age limit be increased, as was discussed at a joint May 17 Port Angeles City Council-Clallam County commissioners meeting. Alvarez said the legal age of 18 was part of “a statewide system of uniformity” in regulating tobacco and vaping products. “I would say, this is just my analysis, this a lawful product,” he told the board.

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