Washington State - to protect children from becoming nicotine addicts lawmakers considering banning flavored tobacco products..

Our Children Our Future

February 10. 2011 - An anti-tobacco bill (Senate Bill 5380) is up for a public hearing right now in the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection committee. The measure seeks to amend the Youth Access to Tobacco Law to stop stores from selling any tobacco product that strongly smells or tastes like anything else besides tobacco and smokeless products likes pouches, mints and lozenges. Because these products would no longer be sold, the Office of Financial Management estimates that the state would lose 25 percent of tobacco tax revenue. This could equate a lose of $9.4 million in 2012.

Summary of Bill: Sales of Flavored, Scented, or Capsular Smokeless Tobacco. The Youth Access to Tobacco Law is amended to prohibit the sale or distribution of tobacco products that:
. have a distinguishable flavor or aroma other than tobacco; or
. are labeled or marketed as a flavored or scented tobacco product; or
. contain or are comprised of capsular smokeless tobacco (not including loose tobacco, but including products that are offered in single dose lozenges, pouches, pills, capsules, or other single dose units intended for oral consumption).

Mary Selecky, Secretary of the Department of Health: “When we go out and talk to young people…they reported taste played a major role in trying their first cigarette. Health costs as a result of tobacco use is higher than what the state will lose out on in lost taxes. I think you need to look at both sides of that equation.

State Sen. James Holmquist Newbry may add a provision to the bill that would allow adults to purchase flavored tobacco products. The bill also includes a ban on pipe tobacco. In addition, the proposal would give localities more authority to regulate tobacco and would enact more regulations regarding retail tobacco displays.

Directly related news briefs:
New York City - does it the RIGHT WAY, bans most forms of flavored tobacco products..;
Part 1: avoidance of nicotine addiction - remove the flavoring from all tobacco products..;
Part 2: avoidance of nicotine addiction - remove the flavoring from all tobacco products..;

References: Outlaw flavored cigarettes and nicotine mints? One bill aims to do exactly that by Lillian Tucker, The Capital Record, 2/7/2011; Washington Lawmakers Consider Bill to Outlaw Flavored Tobacco Products Meanwhile, roll-your-own tobacco stores in the state boast a brisk business, NANA.nacsonline.com, 2/9/2011; Bill targets flavored tobacco products SB 5380: Backers say it protects kids; critics see 'attack on liberty', KATIE SCHMIDT; Staff writer, theolympian.com, 2/8/2011.