Utah becomes 8th state to raise smoking age to 21

Beehive State's path to bump limit was paved with unusual alliances

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  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 1, 2019 11:43 a.m.

    rvalens2, Trooper
    According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.

    Maybe 18 is too young to vote, sign a contract, enlist in the military, marry without parental consent, buy/use tobacco? maybe

  • The Trooper Riverton, UT
    April 1, 2019 10:14 a.m.

    I am good with banning smoking for children. However, if they are old enough to vote and old enough to register for the draft, then they are old enough to smoke (if they choose). The same people who voluntarily choose to smoke, in full knowledge of the horrible damage smoking inflicts, are not going to give a rip about this law. Plus, who is going to enforce this ban? The police? Don't they have better things to do?

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2019 7:57 a.m.

    Yeah burley. You’re right. Venezuela, Cuba, Vietnam, China, Russia, North Korea....all started by banning smoking.

  • quackquack Park City, UT
    April 1, 2019 7:46 a.m.

    Love it mean while Utahans will slurp down their "Dirty Cokes" and an Animal Style artery clogging burgers.

    The reality of it is minors have always gotten Beer and Cigarettes before it's legal.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2019 1:45 a.m.

    Just pass a law if you choise to smoke or vape you are personally responsible for any health related costs. Not your family, employer, or anyone else but you. This includes harm from 2nd hand smoke.

    This takes care of the freedom issue and societal burden issue. People need to face there is no one benefiting from smoking but the tobacco companies. People who smoke need to find healthier outlets for their stress and anxiety since these are the main reasons they smoke.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    March 31, 2019 2:05 p.m.

    Yes ERB, life can be dangerous.

    However, each of us needs to carefully consider the price of allowing government(s) to "willy-nilly" regulate and decide what actions and products they deem "illegal." Otherwise, we run the risk of having every facet of our lives become the government's to regulate, oversee and outlaw — whenever "they" deem fit.

    This then is how freedom dies.

    Not suddenly, but one at a time — at the hands of those who feel the "good" outweighs the "bad." Until the day arrives that our lives are no longer our own to live, but belong to a bureaucracy that rules us from sunup to sundown.

    How soon we forget the lessons and warnings provided by Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.

  • faazshift Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2019 2:00 p.m.

    I fully agree tobacco/cigarettes are quite harmful. Vaping is an alternative that should never be lumped in with it, though. It's at least 95% safer, according to a Cochrane review of existing studies and evidence. Simply put, nicotine (as in vape products) is not tobacco, though tobacco does contain it (tomatoes and eggplants do as well). Nicotine itself is nearly harmless, even though it can be fairly addictive. Still, I don't believe any drug should be illegal. I think adults should have the right to make their own choices if they're not infringing others rights in the process. And I think harmful addictions should be viewed and treated as a health issue, not as a legal issue.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    March 31, 2019 1:42 p.m.

    Applaud! Applaud! Applaud!

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 31, 2019 9:22 a.m.

    So sorry that the “nanny state” is trying to keep people from dying. Rvalens2. I don’t understand why cigarettes are legal at all. No one on this planet thinks they aren’t harmful. Our brother in law died from smoking. Most of us know someone who died from smoking. It’s a horrible addiction that should could disappear in a generation.

  • ericNorCal San Jose, CA
    March 31, 2019 8:20 a.m.

    Think about it if the speed limit in Utah is 45 and you drive in doing 80. I believe the cop can still give you a ticket. If your blood alcohol level is legal in Nevada and you drive to Utah and it is lower you are now breaking the law. I have graduated from BYU which has a legal honor code and then Utah and then California's Police Academies. States rights are states rights.

    Later we will face Our Father in Heaven's rights and I want the right to be there with him and I will come to live a higher law and be even happier.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2019 6:42 a.m.

    Any legal influence that the state can exert to discourage smoking is in the public interest. The courts are filled with litigation over Roundup and its unproven role in causing cancer while there is no debate over tobacco causing cancer and other health related problems. That tobacco sales are allowed at all is ironic.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    March 31, 2019 5:17 a.m.

    In Utah — at 18 years of age — you are old enough to:

    1. Vote.
    2. Sign a contract.
    3. Own a handgun.
    4. Enlist in the military.
    5. Marry without your parent's consent.
    6. Be charged as an adult for any crimes you commit.

    But you're not old enough to decide for yourself if you want to use a product that is legal without the "nanny state" deciding for you.

  • Skidney Garden City, UT
    March 30, 2019 11:55 p.m.

    @ Mainly Me
    "However, does anyone with a working brain really think that this law will stop underage kids from smoking? Please, get real. This is a feel good law that will not accomplish one single thing except make these kids into offenders."

    The article states:
    According to [Ellison's] research, some of the cities and states that raised the smoking age saw more than a 50 percent reduction in youth tobacco rates.

    Sounds effective to me.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    March 30, 2019 10:39 p.m.

    I think smoking is a nasty, filthy habit and the smoke sickens me. However, does anyone with a working brain really think that this law will stop underage kids from smoking? Please, get real. This is a feel good law that will not accomplish one single thing except make these kids into offenders.

  • Dee Conner Ivins, UT
    March 30, 2019 9:46 p.m.

    When we travel or move from state to state, it is our responsibility to know their laws and obey them. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Great move Utah!

  • Puukko Orem , 00
    March 30, 2019 9:11 p.m.

    This is good. I started smoking when I was eighteen. It took me twelve years to finally quit the filthy habit. Good job Utah.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    March 30, 2019 8:38 p.m.

    Hopefully we can keep raising the age until the minimum is 85 years old.

    Tobacco is incredibly dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed at all. The only reason it wasn’t labeled a schedule 1 drug (like cocaine) and prohibited from any consumer use was the tobacco lobbyists and southern politicians who relied on the tobacco industry. Consumer tobacco products serve no positive purpose and only harm its users.

  • CG Provo, UT
    March 30, 2019 7:39 p.m.

    Utah_Happyman - “So what happens when someone from another state or country or former 19-21 year old that smokes comes to our state?”


    Since when have laws ever only applied to local residents?

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    March 30, 2019 7:11 p.m.

    "health department reports show recent use of e-cigs by 11.1 percent of teens surveyed in eighth, 10th and 12th grades — a number that doubled in the last five years."

    8th - 12th graders are not yet even 18. How does raising the legal age to 21 stop 13 - 17 year olds from smoking?

    Isn't the standard Utah argument applicable here? New "smoking control" (or gun control) laws won't stop the criminals from smoking (using guns).

    How, exactly, did this help anything?

  • Utah_Happyman Orem, UT
    March 30, 2019 6:33 p.m.

    So what happens when someone from another state or country or former 19-21 year old that smokes comes to our state? Do we arrest them and give them a ticket or fine or are they grandfathered in some how? Asking for a friend...