Dear editor,

I'm a cancer advocate concerned about making sure kids in Washington don’t become addicted to tobacco. That’s why I joined fellow cancer advocates for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s annual Day at the Capitol in Olympia where we met with legislators about important policies that help fight cancer, such as efforts to raise the state’s tobacco sales age 21.  

I have lost more than a dozen friends and family member to cancer including a childhood friend, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Both my nana and papa passed away from lung cancer due to smoking. 

I have been working with my platform: Cancer Research and Prevention, Raising Money and Awareness for the Cure, since I was 8-years-old. That’s why this issue matters to me. 

About 2,500 kids in Washington start smoking every year and nearly 21 percent of high schoolers here use e-cigarettes. If we raise the state’s smoking age to 21, we’ll help protect future generations from a lifetime addiction. We’ll also save lives from cancer.

I urge Randi Becker to support this lifesaving public health policy.

Cierra Nalani Richards,
Miss WA 2019