Utah legislators will once again consider a bill that seeks to make the minimum age to purchase tobacco products 21-years-old, this time at the request of Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy.
Yesterday, Eliason filed H.B. 296, with the bill getting its first reading on Thursday. It seeks to increase the minimum age for both purchase and possession of tobacco products in two stages, raising it to 20-years-old on July 1, 2019, and then upping it to 21-years-old on Jan. 1, 2020. It would also increase the minimum age to purchase e-cigarettes to 19-years-old as of July 1, 2019.
It’s the fifth time since 2014 that such a bill has been introduced into the Utah Legislature; last year’s version died in the House Business and Labor Committee, while the House Revenue and Taxation Committee failed to advance a version in 2016. Another house bill filed in 2015 never received a hearing, while the Senate killed a proposed increase in 2014, with many citing a loss of revenue for the state were it to pass.