Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress – Statewide Bill Tracker

1/18/2016 – Co-sponsors Kraig Powell and Brian Shiozawa introduce Tobacco 21 bill, House Bill 157
2/3/2015 – Kraig Powell introduces Tobacco 21 bill, Utah House Bill 130, to state House
3/6/2014 – Statewide Tobacco 21 bill voted down 16-12 after extensive Big Tobacco lobbying
12/12/2013 – Senator Stuart Reid introduces statewide Tobacco 21 bill

Utah is another state that is making an attempt to raise the sales age of tobacco to 21. Republican Representative Kraig Powell, who formally co-sponsored a Tobacco 21 bill, introduced the new bill on January 26, 2015. Representative Powell has also sponsored a bill clarifying that no one under the age of 19 should be allowed in a tobacco shop. The bill has been through its first reading and will likely be referred to a committee soon.

Utah House Bill 130: The bill to raise the sales age of tobacco to 21 in Utah

Previously, conservative Republican Senator Stuart Reid sponsored Senate Bill 0012, which was introduced at the end of 2013. It passed through two critical committees and appeared to have strong support on both sides of the aisle. However, after heavy lobbying by over a dozen tobacco industry lobbyists, the Utah Senate voted against the measure by a 16-12 vote on March 6, 2014. The Utah Academy of Pediatrics and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids were among the supporters of the bill.

Currently, Utah has the lowest ranking of both adult smoking and high school smoking in the nation. This is a reflection on both the state’s culture, and their efforts in tobacco prevention. However, there are still an estimated 39,000 children now under the age of 18 who will eventually die early due to smoking, with 1,800 children becoming daily smokers every year. The result is an annual health care cost of $542 million that is directly caused by smoking. The state spends 44.9% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, and has a $1.70 tax per pack. The state has no preemption laws regarding youth access to tobacco, which means local governments can follow the lead of the state government and attempt to enact their own youth access regulations for tobacco. For more information you may contact:

Eric Brodell
Western Regional Director
Tobacco 21

Annie Tegen
Director, Western Region
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

Beverly May
Extremely well versed in the 21 issue. Personally helping to engineer efforts in Hawaii, California, Utah and Colorado
Director Western States
Tobacco Free Kids

or visit our sources:

Tobacco Free Kids Utah: “The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.”

State Of Tobacco Control Utah: “The twelfth annual American Lung Association “State of Tobacco Control” report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.”

SLATI State Information Utah: “SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.”

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

1) Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
2) Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
3) Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
4) Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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