Teens tank Washington state’s smoking scorecard
When it comes to curbing tobacco use, Washington state gets a few F’s on its report card.
Washington gets an A for its commitment to smoke free places, but it all goes downhill from there on the American Lung Association’s annual scorecard.
Carrie Nyssen, senior director of advocacy, said the state needs more programs to prevent young people from using tobacco in the first place. One alarming trend is the skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes, like Juul.
“It's become a new verb — it's now 'Juuling',” Nyssen said. "They look exactly like a a USB drive. So if your child was doing homework and they had this Juul product sitting right next to their pens and pencils and highlighters, you wouldn't even know that it was actually an electronic cigarette. "
The number of high school students using e-cigarettes shot up 78 percent last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Nyssen said she’s hopeful state lawmakers will pass a current bill to raise the smoking age to 21 — and earn a passing grade on next year’s report.