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Tobacco Sales to Minors Reaches the Highest Level in a Decade

The number of Washington retailers illegally selling tabacco to minors has risen to its highest level in more than a decade. An annual report that tracks sales shows about 16 percent of tobacco retailers in our state sold tobacco to minors from Januray to June of this year-up from 11 percent last year and 10 percent in 2010.”This is unacceptable. Our young people should not have access to these deadly tobacco products,” said Mary Selecky. “Most adult smokers start as teens, so if we keep tobacco out of the hands of kids, it’s likely they’ll never take up this dangerous habit.” The current youth smoking rate in Washington is about 13 percent. It’s dropped by about half since 2000. Unfortunately the rate of decline has leveled off in recent years, and the use of alternative tobacco products like chew, cigars, and hookahs is a growing concern.

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