(1) No person may engage in the business of sampling tobacco products.
(2) A violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
Reviser's note: In an order on motion for reconsideration and request for stay pending appeal dated September 25, 2006, the United States District Court for the Western District ruled that chapter 14, Laws of 2006 is preempted by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1334(b) only in application of the law to cigarette sampling. (Case No. C06-5223, W.D. Wash. 2006.)
Finding—Intent—2006 c 14:
"The legislature recognizes that tobacco use among children is a serious and preventable health problem. Every day sixty-five more children in Washington state become smokers, and every year more than eight thousand two hundred state residents die from tobacco-related illnesses. The legislature further finds that tobacco samples contribute to children's access to tobacco products by providing a no-cost initiation that encourages minors to experiment with nicotine at early ages. Sampling activity often occurs in venues frequented by minors, and tobacco samples are distributed along with other promotional items that contain tobacco brand logos, thus increasing the appeal of the tobacco products as well as the chances that children will obtain them. Sampling events in this state have increased twenty-fold over the past nine years, and nationwide, tobacco industry spending on samples has increased significantly. It is therefore the intent of the legislature to protect minors from the influence of tobacco sampling by eliminating the distribution of samples in this state." [ 2006 c 14 § 1.