"It's barely controlled chaos [at the local level]. We can't be everywhere at once. I give the anti-smoking people credit for their vision in that area."Walker Merryman
Vice President, Tobacco Institute
All indoor workplaces and public places in Washington, including restaurants and bars, are 100% smokefree. Thanks to Initiative 901 which passed by 64% in 2005, all Washington workers and residents now breathe clean, healthy indoor air in all workplaces throughout the state, including restaurants, bars and (non-tribal) casinos. Read the Washington Clean Indoor Air Act and learn more how it affects Washington's residents workers and businesses.
The initiative enjoyed broad statewide support and passed in every county statewide. This victory marked the first state to pass a 100% smokefree workplace measure for all non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants and bars via the ballot box. The result at the polls in Washington sent a firm message to elected officials across the country: Voters overwhelmingly support strong smokefree protections which protect all workers. The campaign was led by Healthy Indoor Air for All Washington, a statewide group made up of thousands advocates and organizations, such as health groups, hospitals, unions, faith groups, and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Current tobacco-related statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control's Tobacco Control State Highlights, 2010.
Washington's 2016 Legislative Session: January 1 - March 10
THE FIGHT FOR LOCAL SMOKEFREE LAWS IN WASHINGTON:
Some people have inquired, "Why didn't Washington pass more local laws before going for a statewide law?". Great question. The answer, is because they were preempted from passing any laws on the local level. Below, you'll find the story from Pierce County.
In 2003, the Pierce County Board of Health in WA passed an ordinance requiring all workplaces and public places within Pierce County to be 100% smokefree. This ordinance was the first of its kind in the state of Washington. In January of 2004, the Entertainment Industry Coalition filed a lawsuit to repeal the ordinance, arguing that state law prevents local Washington municipalities from passing more protective smokefree measures. Smokefree advocates fought to take the case directly to the Washington State Supreme Court. The WA State Supreme heard oral arguments on November 16, 2004.
In February 2005, the Washington State Supreme Court released their ruling. They ruled against the Pierce County Health Department and this decision reversed Pierce County's 100% smokefree ordinance. How did the ruling impact other localities wishing to go smokefree in Washington State? It was bad news. The ruling suggested that the (then current) Washington state law restricted local communities in Washington from passing smokefree laws.
The full decision is available at http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/?fa=opinions.opindisp&docid=756759MAJ
Washington's lack of local control was a result of tobacco industry interference way back when the so-called "Washington Clean Indoor Air" law was first passed. Over the past few decades, the tobacco industry has stripped away local control in over 15 states across the country. States are now working hard to reverse preemption where it exists. And to prevent it where they still can.
In the case of Washington State, advocates went to the state legislators in Olympia, asking them to return local control to Washington's cities and towns, or to pass a comprehensive statewide law. The legislature refused to act. In response, Healthy Indoor Air for All in Washington successfully gathered over 300,000 signatures to place Initiative 901 on the statewide ballot. The rest is history.
- 2/3/2017HB1919—(cigar lounge and retail tobacco exemption)—An Act relating to establishing special license endorsements for cigar lounges and retail tobacconist shops—Reintroduced and retained in present status for 3rd special session
- 6/26/2017Preemption Watch Bill Tracking Summary
- 2/9/2017Take Action: Protect Washington's Smokefree Law
- 2/4/2011What's happening in the U.S. Territories and Commonwealths?
- 10/13/2017State lawmakers choose winners and losers through preemption
- 7/6/2017Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won't Let Them.
- 5/10/2017The Threat of Super-Preemption
- 3/6/2017Preemption Prevents Innovation
- 2/21/2017City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis
- 2/10/2017Plan would allow cigar lounges, but workers would have to be smokers--and take a test to prove it
- 2/2/2017Red State, Blue City
- 1/5/2017GOP aims to rein in liberal cities
- 9/9/2016How ALEC, ACCE, and Preemption Laws are Gutting the Powers of American Cities
- 8/22/2016Blue Cities, Red States
- 6/28/2016Colorado Preemptions of Local Government: The Need for the Colorado Community Rights Amendment
- 6/23/2016State and Local Comprehensive Smoke-Free Laws for Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars--United States, 2015
- 4/6/2016From Fracking Bans To Paid Sick Leave: How States Are Overruling Local Laws
- 4/1/2016Growing Southern cities are increasingly targets of state pre-emption
- 3/25/2016Beyond North Carolina's LGBT Battle: States' War on Cities
- 2/4/2016Corporate Interests Take Aim at Local Democracy
- 12/8/201510 years of clean indoor air
- 8/6/2015Blowing the Whistle on ALEC's Little Brother ACCE
- 7/7/2015Four Ways ALEC Tried to Ruin Your State this Year
- 5/17/2015Say no: States increasingly blocking cities and counties from imposing mandates on businesses
- 5/8/2015State lawmakers hate federal meddling even as they preempt local government
- 3/30/2015The ALEC-Backed War on Local Democracy
- 2/23/2015Govern Yourselves, State Lawmakers Tell Cities, but Not Too Much
- 2/1/2015Washington may legalize tobacco smoking rooms
- 12/17/2013New Products Complicate Enforcement Of State Smoking Ban
- 2/14/2013Washington's Smokefree Law Under AttackWashington's Smokefree Law Under Attack
- 9/17/2012Should hookah bars remain open despite Washington's indoor smoking ban?
- 1/23/2012Lawmakers should ignore attempt to allow cigar loophole to indoor-smoking ban
- 1/12/2012Lawmakers seek to ban smoking in cars with children
- 1/11/201271% of Washington Voters Oppose Special Rule to Allow Cigar Smoking in Bars and Restaurants
- 5/17/2011State Senate approves exceptions to smoking ban
- 5/10/2011WA Lawmakers Seek to Ease Smoking Ban
- 5/5/2011Special session update: Day 10
- 4/20/2011Cigar smokers seeking right to smoke in public
- 2/1/2011El Gaucho owner takes cigar lounge case to Legislature
- 1/10/2011Bill would ban smoking in cars around kids
- 8/28/2010Washington's smoking rate decline good, but more is needed
- 2/5/2010State Preemption of Local Smoke-Free Laws in Government Work Sites, Private Work Sites, and Restaurants United States, 2005-2009
- 10/19/2009Smoking ban clearly was the right move
- 7/8/2008Smoking measure falls short
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