Committee passes bill restricting tobacco use to all under 21

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  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    Age 18 does not make you an adult in every sense. The brain is still developing, and social responsibility is just beginning to develop. Studies show that most smokers under 19 years of age get their cigarettes from 19 & 20 year olds. This is one of many reasons why it is a good idea to raise the minimum age for buying & using tobacco. E- cigs are often touted as a way to quit smoking, but recent experience is starting to indicate that it is very popular among teens. It is a gateway to tobacco. We do not want teens getting addicted to nicotine in any form.
    All of those critics who throw around words like "self-righteous" to attack the proponents of this bill seem pretty self-righteous themselves. They talk like smoking affects no one but themselves. We all breathe the same air; when you smoke, it hurts everyone, not just yourself.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Feb. 21, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    In other News...

    Another State Committe passes a bill increasing vehicular speed limits to 80 pmh thereby effecting ALL Utahns inhaling toxins, espcially effecting those under 21.

    They hypocracy in this State knows no bounds....

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 5:50 a.m.

    Why not 28? Your parents have to legally pay for your insurance until you are 28.

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    To all those upset that you can join the army at 18 but not smoke, just remember that the choice to poison your body with tobacco requires more maturity than the choice to enter the military. Joining the military is a noble choice, choosing tobacco is a foolish one.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 8:24 p.m.

    I have also seen the destruction that smoking plays on the human body and I agree these are decisions best left to people whose frontal lobes have at least had a chance to more fully develop> I am concerned though that to much faith is placed on enforcement of laws and not enough time is spent helping kids to understand why smoking is not in their best interest and giving them alternatives.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Another thought: A Utah adult teen joins the Army and fights in a war. While there, he earns the Medal of Honor. He comes home to his family and receives all the glory and honor winning this medal deserves. One day he is standing on the sidewalk in front of his house smoking when he is cited by one of our policeman. I wonder how the national press would handle a CMH winner getting cited for smoking a cigarette on the sidewalk in front of his house?

  • CF Mom Sandy, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    I admit to having a bias on this subject, not just smoking but doing anything (on purpose) knowing that could harm your lungs and shorten your lifespan. For that matter doing anything that would have the same impact on your children or anyone else around you.

    Like my "name" says I am the mother of child with Cystic Fibrosis. I watched her die at age 21 from progressive lung disease. It was not pretty, it was UGLY, it was gut wrenching, it was a helpless feeling watching her gasp for air as her need for supplemental oxygen increased, as she fought to breathe. She coughed crap out of her lungs as baby until the day she died. I do not wish CF on my worst enemy. I have watched the death of a loved one due to CF related lung disease.

    Why would anyone, knowing what we know now about the relationship between tobacco products and lung disease do this to themselves? It boggles my mind! Just visit any lung cancer patient or end stage CF patient and decide if that is the way you want to live. The choice to smoke is STUPID!

  • TruthBTold SLC, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 7:02 p.m.

    Thank you @Tolstoy; I agree with raising the enlistment age too. I do understand what @DixieDan is saying--and I am VERY grateful for the choices of those who serve our country.

    It seems to me that with our collective first-hand knowledge, esp. with you as a doctor, you & I actually agree that serious decisions like smoking, drinking, enlistment, sexual conduct, buying marijuana in CO/WA, etc. are best suited for those who are able to make a mature decision for themselves and live with that decision (and its consequences or benefits).

    In our country, we the people have determined that some liberties are available at 16 (eg., driving), and 18 (eg., voting), but at 21 yrs old no one can tell you what to (legally) do anymore. Seems appropriate, as @Hemlock pointed out, that serious cancer-related health choices known to cause death for those who use it as well as those who breath it second-hand is best suited for 21 and smoking tops that list.

    As for E-Cigs, there is not enough research or data to prove its long-term affects yet, but with Nicotine in the vapors it is highly addictive.

  • Kaotic USA, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 6:47 p.m.

    My eighteen year old son was sighted for smoking while walking down the street a few years ago. I believe nineteen was the legal age to smoke at the time. An older friend purchased the cigarettes for him. Point is, just like the huge teenage alcohol problem in Utah, kids will continue to get older people to purchase cigarettes for them, just like alcohol. Peer pressure seems to be more powerful than common sense these days as most parents can attest to.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    Not to speak for Dan I think the point is if you are old enough to make the choice to go and kill and die for your country you are old enough to decide if you want to smoke. I for one am totally down with raising the enlistment age to 21, Having seen the first hand results of war, PTSD in my patients, I think it is at least every bit a serious decision as smoking.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    It is sound public health legislation. An adolescent brain is not anatomically mature until the early twenties. The late teenage years are generally when people become addicted to tobacco. Smokers are all in favor of their personal freedoms free of government intervention until they begin coughing up blood or have a heart attack and then they depend on government to provide medical care. Not many smokers would opt for self-pay for tobacco related illnesses.

  • TruthBTold SLC, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    True..., but you cannot legally purchase an alcoholic beverage or engage in underage sex in Utah. There are many laws that restrict Adults until the age of 21, so this is not an anomoly.

    @Dixie Dan:
    If you are enlisted, please accept our collective thanks for the Service you provide our country. We are all praying that you will be kept safe from harm and return home to your family. Our concerns for your safety do not stop at the end of your enlistment however--we also want you to return home without any long-term ailments such as smoking.

    With a long line of family members who have served in the Army, Navy, AF and Marines--it is admitted by most that they started smoking when they joined the service because it was offered to them by a buddy and it was their way of showing camaraderie. It took years for most of them to quit after a lot of health issues, some never have, and a couple have died from its affects.

    I've seen first-hand the trail of tears this habit leaves in its wake, and I agree with the proposed law, and hope it passes.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:44 p.m.

    Absurd, and cowardly. Trying to have it both ways and offend the least number of people, while "fixing a problem."

    The Legislators need to be honest and decide the simple question:

    Is tobacco use something that should be allowed at all?

    If yes, the no changes are needed.

    If no, then just vote for a total immediate, 100% outright ban on sale, possession or use of tobacco in any form for anyone, ever.

    And then ironically, they will probably bring up legalization of marijuana and pass that.

    We have too many politicians eager to "do something" rather than to defend freedom, including the freedom of people to make stupid, harmful choices.

  • Smithfield, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    So,let me get this straight, up until 21 we are concerned about your health but after that you can drink and smoke all you want, basically we don't care if you kill yourself. I am not defending rights to smoke or drink but what I am saying is, where is the logic in imposing an age restriction on drinking and smoking. Doesn't smoking and drinking in any form defy correct thinking all around?

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    Now this is silly! Govt needs to leave 18 yr old's alone when it comes to a lot of things. Like a lot of posts have said they're old enough to serve this country in the armed forces. They're old enough to drive and are able to vote but yet they're not allowed to drink(which I agree with and they want to keep a legal adult from smoking. Well after being a smoker and became ill from it I quit 7 years ago but not before I ended up on oxygen 24/7. I can't be anywhere near the smoke. Now if they want to legislate this maybe they should have in Jr high a part of your education in health and instruct them then the dangers of smoking. Get them discouraged early in life because nothing good comes from it.

  • brainoncapitalist Orem, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    The arrogance of these legislators angers me. They have absolutely ZERO right to tell an adult what he/she can or cannot put into his/her body. And all the arrogant, self-righteous people who support this bill are equally culpable for this tyranny.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    If you are an adult at 18, then why can't you drink alcohol? We can't consider them adults in some things and not adults in others... or can we?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    This seems to run contrary to our conservative values of less goverment and fewer regulations.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    At age 18, I am legally an adult. I vote for the President. I enlist in the military to protect our country and die if necessary. I pay my taxes and do all other things that come with being a legal adult. Why does our legislature believe they have the right to determine if I can smoke?
    So if I am sitting in a foxhole defending our state while I am 18, and someone offers me a cigarette, I am to decline because the law in Utah forbids it? If I did light up, would Utah authorities give me a citation after I put my life on the line?

    Feb. 20, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    At age 18 you can legally join the Army, legally buy a handgun, or receive the death penalty in Utah.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    July 2016... I assume that's partly to deal with the issue I just thought of which is what you do about those who are currently 18-20 and smoking and then suddenly cut off cold turkey (at least legally). I do think it needs to be grandfathered in, or something like that, if it were to pass.