On Monday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed H.B. 324 into law, making Utah the eighth state to pass legislation that raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old.
The increase is gradual, with the first part set to go into effect on July 1, 2020, when the current minimum age of 19-years-old goes to 20-years-old. The final increase, to 21-years-old, happens on July 1, 2021. Increases enacted at the local level, such as those in Lehi and Cedar Hills, will remain in place.
The new law does contain an interesting exemption, however, as the minimum age to purchase tobacco will remain at 19-years-old for active members of the military, their spouses and dependents. While exemptions for active members of the military have been included in similar bans, extending it to spouses and dependents is more wide-ranging than what has generally been seen.
Utah joins Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia, in passing legislation to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old, with Virginia the most recent as that state’s bill was approved in February.