The Utah Legislature has approved a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21-years-old and has sent it to Gov. Gary Herbert for his review and signature.
The bill, H.B. 324, received the approval of the Senate on Wednesday by a 15-12 vote, but needed to go back to the House after an amendment was approved that would keep the age at 19-years-old for active members of the military, their spouses and dependents.
As for those not in the military, the minimum age to purchase tobacco would gradually increase, going from 19 to 20 on July 1, 2020, and then to 21 on July 1, 2021. This change would not apply to cities who have already passed their own increases to the minimum age to purchase tobacco, namely Lehi and Cedar Hills.
The House voted 55-16 for concurrence with the Senate’s changes, which cleared the way for the bill to go to the governor. With the Illinois Legislature having also sent a similar bill to its governor, two states could be added to the existing group of seven who have already raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21-years-old: Hawaii, California, Oregon, New Jersey, Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia, the latter of which joined the group in February.