Washington

Clean Indoor Air

Public Places

Smoking is prohibited in virtually all public places, including restaurants, bars and non-tribal casinos. “Public place” is defined as that portion of any building or vehicle used by and open to the public, regardless of whether the building or vehicle is owned in whole or in part by private persons or entities, the state of Washington, or other public entity, and regardless of whether a fee is charged for admission, and includes a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. A public place does not include a private residence unless the private residence is used to provide licensed child care, foster care, adult care, or other similar social service care on the premises. This chapter is not intended to restrict smoking in private facilities which are occasionally open to the public except upon the occasions when the facility is open to the public. See statute citation for a specific list of what are classified as “public places.” Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note below.)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Note: The Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the prohibition on smoking in almost all public places and workplaces in Pierce County, WA can not go into effect because the ordinance prohibits what state statute specifically allows in this case prohibiting smoking where state law allows businesses to decide whether to allow smoking or not. This means that localities in Washington are preempted from enacting clean indoor air ordinances stronger than state law.

Entertainment Industry Coalition v. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department et al., decided 2/10/05 (2005).

Government Buildings

Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” which includes buildings and vehicles owned in whole or in part by the state of Washington or other public entity that are open to the public. Smoking is also prohibited in “places of employment,” which include any area under the control of a public employer which employees are required to pass through during the course of employment, including, but not limited to: entrances and exits to the places of employment. Smoking is also prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve “public places” and “places of employment.” The definition of “public place” also includes state legislative chambers and immediately adjacent hallways. Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Private Workplaces

Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” which includes buildings and vehicles owned in whole or in part by private persons or entities that are open to the public, and regardless of whether a fee is charged for admission. Smoking is also prohibited in “places of employment,” which include any area under the control of a private employer which employees are required to pass through during the course of employment, including, but not limited to, entrances and exits to the places of employment. Smoking is also prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve “public places” and “places of employment.” See statute for a specific list of what are classified as “public places.” Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Schools

Each school district board of directors must adopt a written policy prohibiting the use of all tobacco products on public school property. The policy shall include, but not be limited to: a requirement that students and school personnel be notified of the prohibition; the posting of signs prohibiting the use of tobacco products; sanctions for students and school personnel who violate the policy; and a requirement that school district personnel enforce the prohibition.

WASH. REV. CODE § 28A.210.310 (1997).

Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” the definition of which includes schools and educational facilities, and includes a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Child Care Centers

Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” which means any building or vehicle used by and open to the public, regardless of whether the building or vehicle is owned in whole or in part by private persons or entities, the state of Washington, or other public entity, including child care facilities. A “public place” includes a private residence when used to provide licensed child care, foster care, adult care, or other similar social service care on the premises. Smoking is also prohibited in “places of employment,” which include any area under the control of a public or private employer which employees are required to pass through during the course of employment, including, but not limited to, entrances and exits to the places of employment. Smoking is also prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of “public places” and “places of employment.” Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Smoking is prohibited in the living space of any home or facility caring for foster children and in motor vehicles while transporting foster children. Adults are permitted to smoke outside away from children. This does not apply to traditional or spiritual Native American or religious ceremonies involving the use of tobacco.

WA ADMIN. CODE § 388-148-0185 (2004).

Health Facilities

Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” the definition of which includes all hospitals, nursing homes, and health care facilities or clinics. Smoking is also prohibited in “places of employment,” which include any area under the control of a public or private employer which employees are required to pass through during the course of employment, including, but not limited to, entrances and exits to the places of employment. Smoking is also prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of “public places” and “places of employment.” Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Restaurants

Restaurants: Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” the definition of which includes restaurants. Smoking is also prohibited in “places of employment,” which are defined as any area under the control of a public or private employer which employees are required to pass through during the course of employment. Smoking is also prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of “public places” and “places of employments.” Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Bars: Smoking is prohibited in “public places,” the definition of which includes bars and taverns. Smoking is also prohibited in “places of employment,” which are defined as any area under the control of a public or private employer which employees are required to pass through during the course of employment. Smoking is also prohibited within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 25 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of “public places” and “places of employment.” Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005).

Penalties/Enforcement

Owners or the person in charge must post signs in a conspicuous place at the entrance to a public place prohibiting smoking. Intentionally smoking in a “public place” or “place of employment” or removal or defacement of signs are punishable by a civil fine of up to $100. Any person passing by or through a public place while on a public sidewalk or public right of way has not intentionally violated this chapter. After an initial warning, violation by an owner or person in charge of a “public place” or “place of employment” is subject to up to a $100 civil fine each day the violation continues. Local law enforcement agencies enforce the law against individual smokers and local health departments enforce the law against owners or persons in charge of “public places” or “places of employment.” Owners, operators, managers, employers, or other persons who own or control a “public place” or “place of employment” may seek to rebut the presumption that 25 feet is a reasonable minimum distance by making application to the Director of the local health department or district in which the “public place” or “place of employment” is located. Stronger local ordinances are preempted by state law (see note under “Public Places.”)

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.160.010 et seq. (2005)

Tobacco Excise Tax

Online Cigarettes

Tax rate per pack of 20: $2.025

Date last changed: July 1, 2005 — from $1.425 to $2.025

Year first enacted: 1935

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 82.24.020 (1994), 82.24.026 (2005), 82.24.027 (1999), & 82.24.028 (2002).

Sixty cents of the cigarette tax is distributed as follows: 21.7 percent to the Health Services Account, 2.8 percent to the general fund, 2.3 percent to the Violence Reduction and Drug Enforcement Account, 1.7 percent to the Water Quality Account, and the remaining revenue to the Education Legacy Trust Account.

WASH. REV. CODE § 82.24.026 (2005).

Sixty cents of the cigarette tax is allocated to the Health Services Account. Ten percent of this money is transferred to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Account to be used to help fund the state tobacco prevention and control program. A minimum funding level of $26.24 million was set for this program. The remaining revenue either remains in the Health Services Account or is transferred to several other accounts for specified purposes. This increase was the result of Initiative 773, which was approved by voters in November 2001.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 82.24.028 & 43.72.900 (2002).

Eight cents of the cigarette tax is distributed to the Water Quality Account until June 30, 2021.

WASH. REV. CODE § 82.24.027 (1999).

Twenty-two cents of the cigarette tax is distributed to the general fund, 10.5 cents of the cigarette tax is distributed to the Violence Reduction and Drug Enforcement Account, and 41 cents of the cigarette tax is distributed to the Health Services Account.

WASH. REV. CODE § 82.24.020 (1994).

Other Tobacco Products

Cigars: 75% of the taxable sales price not exceeding 50 cents per cigar;

All other tobacco products: 75% of the taxable sales price

WASH. REV. CODE § 82.26.020 (2005).

The revenue from other tobacco product taxes is distributed as follows: 37 percent to the general fund, 50 percent to the Health Services Account, and 13 percent to the Water Quality Account until July 1, 2021 and after that into the general fund.

WASH. REV. CODE § 82.26.020 (2005).

Revenue Collected

$417,571,000

Youth Access

Compliance/Enforcement

The Liquor Control Board and the board’s authorized agents or employees shall have the full power to conduct random, unannounced, inspections with local county health departments or districts and local law enforcement agents to assure compliance with these laws. Persons under 18 may be used with parental authorization for participation in controlled purchases for enforcement purposes.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.110 (1993) & 70.155.080 (2002).

Photo ID: Where there may be a question of a person’s right to purchase or obtain tobacco products by reason of age, the retailer or agent thereof, shall require the purchaser to present any one of a list of officially issued identification that shows the purchaser’s age and bears their signature and photograph.

WASH. REV. CODE § 70.155.090 (1993).

Penalties for Sales to Minors

Every person who sells or gives, or permits to be sold or given to any person under the age of 18 any cigar, cigarette, cigarette paper or wrapper, or tobacco in any form is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. The Liquor Control Board may fine a licensed person who violates this provision $100 for the first violation within any two year period; $300 for the second violation within any two year period; $1,000 and suspension of license for a period of six months for the third violation within any two year period; $1,500 and suspension of license for one year for the fourth violation within any two year period, and revocation of a license with no chance of reinstatement for five years for the fifth or subsequent violation within any two year period. Any person other than a licensee who commits an offense may be fined $50 for the first violation and $100 for any subsequent violation. It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that the person making a sale reasonably relied on any of the officially issued identification specified in RCW 70.155.090(1).

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 26.28.080 (1994) & 70.155.005 et seq. (1993).

Penalties to Minors

Individuals under 18 who purchase, possess, attempt to purchase or obtain any tobacco product are guilty of a Class Three civil infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed $50, participation in up to four hours of community service, or both. The court may also require participation in a smoking cessation program. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.080 (2002) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Placement of Tobacco Products

None.

Sign Posting

A licensee shall display a sign concerning the prohibition of tobacco sales to minors, which shall be posted so that it is clearly visible to any person purchasing tobacco products from the licensee. The sign shall read: “THE SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO PERSONS UNDER AGE 18 IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED BY STATE LAW. IF YOU ARE UNDER 18, YOU COULD BE PENALIZED FOR PURCHASING A TOBACCO PRODUCT; PHOTO ID REQUIRED.” Penalties for licensees and all other persons are the same as selling or giving tobacco products to a minor. Penalties are assessed by the Liquor Control Board. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.020 (1993), 70.155.100 (1998) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Other Provisions

Internet Sales: It is unlawful for a person who mails, ships, or otherwise delivers cigarettes in connection with a “delivery sale” to fail to obtain in writing verification of the receiver’s address and that the receiver of the cigarettes is not a minor; fail to either verify the information contained in the certification provided by the prospective consumer against a commercially available data base, or obtain a photocopy of an officially issued identification containing the bearer’s age, signature, and photograph; and contract only with private carriers who employ delivery agents who will verify the receiver of the cigarettes is not a minor upon delivery. A first violation of these provisions is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000, and second and subsequent violations are a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Violation by a delivery service is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000. Failure to collect or remit taxes is a fine of five times the value of the cigarettes involved in addition to any other penalties.

WASH. REV. CODE § 70.155.105 (2003).

Note: Some parts of this law may be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, decided February 20, 2008.

Restrictions on Distribution of Tobacco Product Samples or Sales of Single Cigarettes

Samples

No person may distribute or offer to distribute samples in a public place. However, sampling is permitted in areas where minors are not permitted, in stores that have a retailer’s license, and at or adjacent to outdoor construction sites. Sampling is also prohibited in or on a public street, sidewalk, park that is within 500 feet of a playground, school, or other facility being used primarily by persons under the age of 18. No person shall engage in the business of sampling without receiving a license from the state Liquor Control Board. Violation by licensees and by all others is a fine of $300 for each violation. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080 except that political subdivisions that have adopted ordinances prohibiting sampling by January 1, 1993, may continue to enforce these ordinances.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.050 (1993), 70.155.060 (1993), 70.155.100 (1998) & 70.155.130 (1993).

No person shall give or distribute coupons for tobacco products if such coupon is redeemed in any manner that does not require an in-person transaction in a retail store. The penalty for licensees and all others is a fine of $1,000 for each violation. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.070 (1993), 70.155.100 (1998) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Single Cigarettes

No person shall sell cigarettes not in the original unopened package to which the required stamp has been affixed. This does not apply to the sale of loose leaf tobacco by a retail business that generates a minimum of 60 percent of annual gross sales from the sale of tobacco products. Penalties assessed against the licensee by the Liquor Control Board for violation are the same as selling or giving tobacco products to minors. Any person other than a licensee who commits a violation may be fined $100 for each offense. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.040 (1993), 70.155.100 (1998) & 70.155.130 (1993).

No stamp may be affixed to, or made upon, any container or package of cigarettes if the container or package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States.

WASH. REV. CODE § 82.24.035 (1999).

Restrictions on Sale of Tobacco Products in Vending Machines

Placement

Sales of tobacco products from vending machines are prohibited unless the machines are located at industrial work sites where minors are not employed or fully within premises where minors are not permitted. Vending machines must not be less than ten feet from all entrances or exits on the premises except if architecturally impractical. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.030 (1994) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Penalty

Violations of this provision by licensees and all others are punishable by a fine of $100 for each day the violation occurs.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.100 (1998).

Licensing Requirements

Requirements

Wholesalers and retailers of cigarettes must obtain a license from the state Department of Revenue. A separate license is required for each place of business. Purchasing, selling, consigning, or distributing cigarettes in this state without a license is a Class C felony. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivision may impose fees or license requirements on retail businesses for possessing or selling cigarettes or tobacco products, other than general business taxes or license fees not primarily levied on tobacco products.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 82.24.500 to 82.24.540 (2003) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Licenses must be obtained to distribute tobacco product samples at no or nominal cost from the Liquor Control Board. A sampler’s license expires on the thirtieth day of June of each year and must be renewed annually. A copy of the license must be carried by the person at all times. Sampling without a license is subject to a $300 fine for each violation. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.050 (1993), 70.155.100 (1998) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Distributors and retailers of tobacco products other than cigarettes must be licensed by the state Department of Revenue. Each license expires on the master license expiration date and can be continued upon payment of the required fee. Selling other tobacco products without a license is a Class C felony. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivision may impose fees or license requirements on retail businesses for possessing or selling cigarettes or tobacco products, other than general business taxes or license fees not primarily levied on tobacco products

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 82.26.150 to 82.26.190 (2005) & 70.155.130 (1993).

Fee

$650 for each cigarette wholesaler for the first place of business, $115 for any additional places of business; $93 annually for each cigarette retailer, and an additional $30 for each vending machine. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivision may impose fees or license requirements on retail businesses for possessing or selling cigarettes or tobacco products, other than general business taxes or license fees not primarily levied on tobacco products.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 82.24.520 (1986), 82.24.530 (1992) & 70.155.130 (1993).

$500 annually for manufacturers whose employees distribute samples, not less than $50 annually for all other samplers. Political subdivisions are preempted from adopting or enforcing requirements for the licensure and regulation of tobacco product promotions and sales within retail stores. No political subdivisions may regulate or prohibit activities covered by RCW 70.155.020 through 70.155.080.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.050 & 70.155.130 (1993).

$650 for distributors of other tobacco products for the first place of business and $115 for each additional place of business unless they already hold a cigarette wholesaler license for the same place of business; $93 for retailers of other tobacco products at each place of business unless they hold a cigarette retailer license for the same place of business. No political subdivision may impose fees or license requirements on retail businesses for possessing or selling cigarettes or tobacco products, other than general business taxes or license fees not primarily levied on tobacco products.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 82.26.160 (2005), 82.26.170 (2005) & 70.155.130 (1993).

License Suspension for Sales to Minors

Starting with the third violation, the state Liquor Control Board may suspend or revoke a license if the licensee violates state laws concerning sale of tobacco products to minors, sign posting at the point of sale, or distribution of cigarettes outside of their original packages.

WASH. REV. CODE §§ 70.155.005 et seq. (1993).

Tobacco Liability

Industry Protection

In civil litigation under any legal theory involving a signatory, a successor of a signatory or any affiliate of a signatory to the Master Settlement Agreement, the supersedeas bond to be furnished in order to stay the execution of the judgment during the entire course of appellate review shall be set in accordance with applicable laws or court rules, except that the total bond that is required of all appellants collectively shall not exceed $100 million, regardless of the value of the judgment. If an appellee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that an appellant is dissipating assets outside the ordinary course of business to avoid the payment of a judgment, a court may require the appellant to post a bond in an amount up to the amount of the judgment.

WASH. REV. CODE § 43.340 (2006).

Tobacco Settlement

Tobacco Control Appropriations

Washington appropriated $27,191,000 for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in FY2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) from the state general fund and revenue generated from retailer licensing fees. This is the second year of the FY2008-FY2009 biennium. The same amount was appropriated in FY2008.

FY2008-FY2009 Biennial Budget (H.B. 1128) enacted 5/15/07 and effective 7/1/07 (FY2008) & 7/1/08 (FY2009).

Moneys received by the state of Washington in accordance with the settlement of the state’s legal action against tobacco product manufacturers, exclusive of costs and attorneys’ fees, shall be deposited in the tobacco settlement account except as these moneys are sold or assigned. Moneys in the tobacco settlement account may only be transferred to the health services account for the purposes set forth in RCW 43.72.900, and to the tobacco prevention and control account to help fund the tobacco prevention and control program. Master Settlement Agreement strategic contribution payments received in 2008 through 2017 will be distributed to the Life Sciences Discovery Fund.

WASH. REV. CODE § 43.79.480 (2005).

Securitization

The securitization of part of the annual Master Settlement Agreement payments was authorized to acquire a lump sum payment of $450 million up front. The Tobacco Settlement Authority was created as an independent entity of the state to complete the transaction.

WASH. REV. CODE § 43.340.005 et seq. (2002).

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