ATTORNEY GENERAL ROB MCKENNA SPOKE TO STUDENTS AT TUMWATER’S BUSH MIDDLE SCHOOL MONDAY ON THE TEN-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE STATES’ LAWSUIT AGAINST BIG TOBACCO.
McKenna [smoking1 :26]:
“It used to be that every day in Washington State 65 young people would start smoking—every single day. That’s thousands of new smokers every year, isn’t it? And since we entered into this agreement that number of 65 has declined. It’s still too high. It’s about 45. So our goal is to lower it to zero. That’s where we’re headed. We want no young people to start smoking in our state on any day of the year.”
ATTORNEY GENERAL MCKENNA AND GOVERNOR GREGOIRE WARNED KIDS ABOUT WHY THE TOBACCO COMPANIES STILL HAVE THEM IN THEIR SIGHTS:
McKenna [smoking2 :26]
“If you smoke at an early age you’re likely to smoke when you’re a grownup. Did you know that almost nobody who smokes as an adult started smoking when they were an adult? Almost all smokers start smoking when they’re younger than 21; when they’re a teenager or when they’re a college student. The tobacco companies know this. They know they have to get to you when you’re a teenager or a pre-teen or a young adult, in order to get you hooked so you keep smoking.”
MCKENNA HAD A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT AIMED DIRECTLY AT KIDS, CIGARETTES AND THE INTERNET:
McKenna [smoking3 :30]
“The evidence shows that young people like all of you are on the Internet more, and on your computers more, and on video games more than you’re watching TV. So the tobacco companies are shifting more and more to the Internet as a place to market -- if they can get away with it -- and sell cigarettes. So here’s what we’re going to do in January: My office and I have written a bill to make it illegal to sell cigarettes on the Internet in Washington State.”
IT TURNS OUT THAT THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME LEGISLATORS HAVE TRIED TO BAN ONLINE CIGARETTE SALES.
McKenna [smoking4 :18]
“We have a law now that says that you can’t sell cigarettes online unless they’re going to be delivered to a household where somebody can prove they’re at least 18. But that law was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s not enforceable because of another federal law. So you know what we’re going to do? We’re just going to make it illegal to sell cigarettes online altogether."
MCKENNA SAYS HE’S CONFIDENT THAT HIS BILL WILL HAVE STRONG SUPPORT FROM LEGISLATORS FROM BOTH PARTIES. THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS JANUARY 12.
Dan Sytman, AGO Media Relations Manager, (360) 586-7842
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725