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Fighting Commercial Tobacco. Together.

Washington Breathes is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals working to eliminate the harmful use of commercial tobacco and other nicotine products.

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Improving Health In All Communities

Our Top Priorities

Restore Comprehensive Funding

Obtain sustainable funding to support comprehensive commercial tobacco education, prevention, and treatment programs throughout the state.

Improve Access To Cessation Treatment

Ensure effective, culturally and linguistically appropriate nicotine cessation strategies and support are available and provided to all who seek it – including youth.

Address Disparities

Improve understanding of the disproportionate impact of commercial tobacco products on specific communities and tailor support services/messaging to the specific needs of that community.

Support Healthy Youth

Support policies, programs, and funding that educate youth on the harms of commercial tobacco use and support them in cessation efforts, working towards a future nicotine-free generation.

Eliminate Flavored Products

Educate on the harms of flavors - including menthol - and support policies that expand flavor restrictions and bans to reduce initiation and disparities.

Restore Local Authority

Explain the benefits of local laws and policies that reflect community interests and solve local problems caused by sales and marketing of commercial tobacco products and the harmful impacts of preemption.

The Tobacco Industry Spends $87 Million Each Year on Marketing in WA State Alone

That's more than 20 times Washington's state investment of about $4 million this year for prevention strategies and cessation programs to reduce smoking and vaping.

Learn About Restoring Comprehensive Funding
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Featured Issues

Federal Menthol Rule Delay

The White House has delayed issuing FDA's proposed rules to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The tobacco industry and industry-funded organizations have been lobbying the White House, raising familiar, but unfounded, claims that a menthol cigarette ban would result in police targeting of smokers who are Black. That's false: enforcement would be on manufacturers, distributors, and retailers - not on individuals. Unproven political concerns are also being raised about impacts on President Biden’s re-election.

Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes in the U.S. could prevent 654,000 deaths, including preventing the deaths of about 238,000 African Americans.

Learn more: African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council

FDA fact sheet on proposed rules

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear CA Flavor Ban Case

California took action in 2020 to protect community health by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. Big Tobacco challenged the law at the ballot box, but California's voters upheld the public health measure in November 2022 by a 63.4% margin. RJ Reynolds and tobacco retailers also challenged CA's law in the courts on grounds that it conflicted with federal law, but have lost at each level. Now the Supreme Court has closed the books on the RJ Reynolds lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear arguments on the case, upholding California's law prohibiting the sale of flavored commercial tobacco products.
Reuters news: US Supreme Court rejects challenge to California flavored tobacco ban

Learn about Policies Ending the Sale of Flavored Tobacco

LCB Releases Youth PUP Enforcement Report

Important progress was made in the 2023 legislative session to improve commercial tobacco enforcement by reducing enforcement on underage youth and increasing fines for retailers who are illegally selling addictive nicotine products to underage individuals.

ESSB 5365 accomplished a number of changes, including requiring annual reports from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) about their interactions and enforcement actions with youth under age 18.

In December, LCB released its first report to the Legislature that provides a retrospective look back to fiscal year 2018.

Link to LCB Report
Learn about Ineffective and Inequitable PUP Laws

A NEED FOR ACTION

The Numbers Speak for Themselves

Join Our Movement

104,000
youth will die prematurely from smoking

8,300
deaths from smoking each year

27%
of cancer deaths are due to smoking

$3.26 BN
in annual health care expenditures directly caused by commercial tobacco use

39th
WA's FY 2024 national rank for state investment in nicotine prevention & cessation

Important Dates

Mark your calendars!

View All Events

Jan-March Weekly

Policy Change Learning Circles

February-April

DOH Listening Sessions on Commercial Tobacco Program Spending Priorities

March 12

Quit Coach Training

April 1

Take Down Tobacco Day of Action

April 17-18

Virtual Conference: Triangulum of Cannabis, Tobacco, & E-Cigarettes

April 22

Quit Coach Training