The Attorney General's Office is the state's top consumer protection watchdog. Each year the Office investigates and files lawsuits on behalf of consumers to stop fraudulent and deceptive business practices. In this capacity, the office has, from time to time, been involved in lawsuits against tobacco companies, such as the Master Settlement Agreement, filed in 1998. In addition, the Attorney General makes recommendations to the legislature regarding laws to help protect our citizens, including the recent Ban on Internet and Mail-Order Tobacco Sales. Some important Washington laws pertaining to tobacco include:
- Youth Access to Tobacco (RCW 70.155): It is against the law to sell or provide tobacco to anyone under the age of 18 in Washington. The state is committed to keeping our youth protected from the harmful effects of tobacco.
- Smoking in Public Places (RCW 70.160): In 2005, in an effort to cut down on harmful second-hand smoke, voters approved Iniative 901, makingWashington the fifth state to ban smoking in all public indoor places, including workplaces.
Those who would like to quit smoking and need help can call the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit the Center for Disease Control online for tips. A more complete list of resources can be found on our website at: www.atg.wa.gov/Tobacco/Resources.aspx.