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.

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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, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.