SALT LAKE CITY — On the identical day a state lawmaker submitted a bill to boost the age for someone to purchase tobacco to 21, a Utah County metropolis took simply that step.
Lehi City Council voted unanimously to boost the age restrict for tobacco products Tuesday night time.
Earlier in the day, Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, finished HB324, which was introduced into the House of Representatives on Wednesday and placed in the Guidelines Committee. The invoice would increase the minimum age for acquiring, possessing, using, providing or furnishing tobacco merchandise, paraphernalia, “and underneath certain circumstances, digital smoking units” from 19 to 20 then to 21 years of age over time. He stated that is the third yr he has sponsored a invoice to boost the age restrict.
“The info speaks clearly,” Eliason stated, explaining he spoke with administrators of health departments who all stated it is crucial invoice he might run for public health.
Brook Carlisle, government relations director with the American Most cancers Society Cancer Action Network, stated 95 % of grownup smokers start smoking before they flip 21, with ages 18-21 being essential years where many individuals turn into day by day smokers.
“Annually about 800 youngsters in Utah beneath the age of 18 grow to be day by day smokers, and if we don’t act and cease this now we’ve about 39,000 youngsters who are alive at the moment who will ultimately die from tobacco-associated illness,” Carlisle informed Lehi council members.
Utah PTA Health Commissioner DeAnn Kettenring informed metropolis officials the change is important to stop youthful teens from smoking. She stated adults ages 18-20 present ninety % of the tobacco to younger individuals.
Kettenring stated she had a son who started smoking in junior excessive after he obtained cigarettes from a good friend who had an older brother who was 19. Once her son turned 19, he began supplying cigarettes to younger associates.
“This is just one other thing to guard our youngsters, and the analysis exhibits that it does shield our youngsters,” Kettenring stated.
She additionally mentioned the rise in vaping, and stated the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention reported a 78 % improve in youth use of e-cigarettes, that are included on this bill.
“It has been touted as a cessation gadget … however our youngsters are utilizing it to get addicted,” Kettenring stated.
For the last seven years there was an effort to make this variation on the state degree, based on Marc Watterson, from the American Heart Affiliation. Three of those years the bill didn’t even receive a committee hearing.
“(Tobacco’s) meant use, if it is used appropriately, is to get individuals sick and to ultimately trigger dying. It’s the one product that we permit available on the market that if used as meant, will end in premature demise,” Watterson stated.
He stated six states and more than 425 cities and counties have raised the age to 21. Utah’s age restrict for purchasing tobacco is nineteen, which is greater than the national regulation of 18.
Watterson additionally stated within the six states…