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Students head to Olympia to support raising legal smoking age to 21

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Dozens of high school students will head to Olympia Tuesday to push lawmakers to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.

They say it could save teenagers from a lifetime of deadly addiction.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson also supports the age increase.

In January, students explained to a House committee how common it is to see classmates using tobacco.

“There’s a group of juniors and sophomores whose daily routine is to go the store with a legal kid and pay him a bonus to get them packs of cigarettes,” said Wells High School junior Miles Schoenberg.

According to the state Department of Health, 8 percent of Washington high schoolers smoke cigarettes and 18 percent use electronic cigarettes.

Similar efforts the last two years failed to come before a full vote, but this year legislators have more time with the extended session.

Governor Inslee will address the students at noon.

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