Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 in the state of Utah came to a halt today when the Utah Senate voted down SB 12, a bill that would raise the age to purchase tobacco from 19 to 21.
If passed, Utah would have become the first state to deny 19 and 20-year-olds the right to purchase tobacco. The bill was voted down on a 12-16 vote with many voting against the bill over concerns with the loss of tax revenue.
It was the second piece of good news to come from Salt Lake City today. Utah, normally known for its strict laws against tobacco, could also see its 86 percent wholesale tax on cigars capped at 50 cents, something that would give consumers a dramatic savings. Legislation regarding the cap passed committee and will now be voted on in the full House of Representatives.
Utah was one of five states with current legislation to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. Last week, the Vermont House of Representatives announced that its bill to raise the minimum age would be delayed.
Currently, Colorado, Hawaii and Maryland all have similar legislation in various arts of their respective legislatures.