Utah lawmaker pushing for bill that would increase current US$3 copay for smokers receiving Medicaid benefits to US$5 unless they enroll in smoking cessation program

Michelle Rivera

Michelle Rivera

Jan 24, 2012 – Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY , January 24, 2012 () – Laws that regulate hookahs, electronic cigarettes and nicotine lozenges and gum could all be tightened under proposals being considered by Utah legislators.

Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield is also pushing a bill that would increase the current $3 to $5 copay for smokers receiving Medicaid benefits unless they enroll in a smoking cessation program. The proposal would require the federal government's approval.

Along with Medicaid changes, Ray plans a bill to require nicotine gum and lozenges be kept in locked cases at stores. Another bill would bar minors from tobacco stores.

Republican Rep. Brad Last of Hurricane is attempting to regulate hookah smoking and electronic cigarettes indoors. A House committee balked Monday at an outright ban, but Last says he plans to amend the bill to address concerns.

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