Utah Legislature votes to recommend proposal at next session in January that would raise minimum age that state residents can buy tobacco products from 18 to 21

SALT LAKE CITY , November 20, 2013 () – UTAH LAWMAKERS GIVE INITIAL OK TO RAISING AGE TO PURCHASE TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO 21 FROM 19

A proposal to raise the minimum age Utah residents can buy tobacco products to 21 from 19 cleared an early hurdle at the Legislature on Wednesday.

An interim committee of lawmakers voted to recommend the proposal for the next legislative session starting in January.

The move comes a day after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed similar legislation, making New York the first large city in the country to bar tobacco sales to young adults.

Utah is already among a handful of states that ban sales to anyone under 19. Most other states set the minimum age at 18.

Sen. Stuart Reid, an Ogden Republican who is one of the sponsors of the Utah proposal, says if people don't start smoking before 21, the chances that they will become smokers are much lower.

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