Colorado took another step to becoming the first state in the country to require purchasers of tobacco to be at least 21 years of age, as House Bill 1263 passed the House Health, Insurance, and Environment Committee on Thursday by a 6-4 vote with one member absent. It now heads to the House Committee on Finance.

Should the bill pass the legislature and be signed into law, it would “prohibit anyone from giving, selling, distributing, or offering for sale cigarettes or tobacco products to anyone who is under 21 years of age,” as well as prohibiting anyone who is under 21 years of age from purchasing or possessing cigarettes or tobacco products.

There would be a grandfathering period, however, as those who are currently between the ages of 18 and 20 wouldn’t be affected. As such, the law wouldn’t be fully implemented for four years, with the specified cutoff as applying to those born after June 30, 1996.

The vote came on the same day that Utah’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21, as well as increase the penalties for those under 21 to possess or consume tobacco products.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.