By NIKO MALZAK and MARC GILBERTAPPILEAThe federal health care law that President Donald Trump signed in March allows people who have received state-approved health insurance to purchase tobacco products, even if they are not under the influence of tobacco.
The new state-based law goes into effect Nov. 1, and it allows sales of tobacco-related products in stores with tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Under the new law, retailers must allow the sale and display of tobacco items.
The law also makes it illegal for anyone to buy, buy, sell or store tobacco products unless they are accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old and is not a health care professional.
The federal government has said the law would not allow for the sale, possession or distribution of cigarettes in the state of Washington, a key Trump election promise.
The state’s attorney general said Tuesday that he would be seeking an injunction to block the law, which was enacted by the Republican-led Legislature but was signed into law by Democratic Gov.
Jay Inslee on a bipartisan basis.
Inslee said the state’s health care system has made it “difficult for many people who are sick to get treatment and treatment has been slow.”
He also said the new federal law will not allow him to enforce state laws that protect the health of all people.
The American Lung Association, which supports the new health care bill, said the federal health law will have a devastating impact on Washington state.
“This is a step backward for Washington state,” said Robert M. Murchison, the association’s executive vice president for health policy.
“It’s an opportunity for Washington to take a bold stand for public health and health care.”
Inslee is in his second term as governor.