OLYMPIA, Wash. - The number of Washington retailers illegally selling tobacco to minors has reached its highest level within the last decade.
Reports show that about 16% of tobacco retailers in the state sold tobacco to minors from January to June of this year. This is up from 11% in 2011 and 10% in 2010.
If the rate of retailers selling tobacco to minors exceeds 20 percent, Washington could lose nearly $14 million dollars in federal funding for drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention and treatment.
The current youth smoking rate in Washington is about 13%. It has dropped by about half since 2000.