It’s been tried before and failed, but that isn’t stopping two Utah state legislators from once again attempting to raise the minimum age to purchase and possess tobacco products and electronic cigarettes from 19 to 21.

Yesterday Rep. Kraig Powell (R-Heber City) and Sen. Brian E. Shiozawa (R-Salt Lake City) introduced HB 0157 into the legislature, which is proposing the increase as well as several smaller changes to existing legislation.

The changes proposed by Powell and Shiozawa keep the existing fines for retailers in place, which start at up to $300 for a first violation and escalate up to $750 for a second violations and up to $1,000 for a third violation within 12 months of the first. It also retains the provision that makes it illegal for a person between 18 and 21-years-old to possess any type of tobacco product and subjects them to a class C misdemeanor and a minimum fine of $60, as well as participation in a court-approved tobacco education program.

Should it pass, the changes would go into effect on July 1, 2018.

The Utah legislature convenes for the 2016 legislative session on Monday, Jan. 25.

Avatar photo

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.