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.

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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 Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.