Utah to raise legal smoking age to 21

Local Politics

FILE – In this Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2002 file photo, a high school junior holds a cigarette as another high school student takes a drag in Lawrence, Kan. The smoking rate among U.S. high school and middle school students has been flat for three years now, after a fairly steady decline for nearly two decades, […]

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law Monday that will raise the minimum age to legally use tobacco products.

House Bill 324, Tobacco Age Amendments, will gradually raise the legal age from 19 to 20 in 2020 and then to 21 in 2021.

The legislation is aimed at keeping tobacco products out of the hands of Utah’s youth.

The bill’s sponsor Representative Steve Eliason (R-Sandy) has said he believes raising the age is “one of the most effective things that we can do to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

Lehi became the first city in the state to pass an ordinance restricting the legal age of tobacco use to 21 and over. Cedar Hills came next. Provo City officials followed suit saying that if Eliason’s bill did not pass the legislature, they too would adopt their own ordinance. 

Lawmakers seem to be embracing the Tobacco 21 movement. It’s a national campaign aimed at raising the minimum legal age for tobacco and nicotine sales in the United States. 

According to its website, more than 425 cities and counties in 25 states have already raised the legal age for tobacco use. 

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