2018 Bills

HB 296: Raising the Tobacco Age Restrictions

This bill was not voted on in the House or Senate.

Libertas Institute opposes this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it violates our principles and must therefore be opposed.

In a continued effort to smolder the harmful effects of tobacco, the state is once again trying to intervene in the lives of Utahns by raising the legal age limit for obtaining, possessing, or using tobacco. Previous attempts at this have already been tried, most recently in 2014 and in 2016, but have not been successful.

If passed, House Bill 296 would eventually restrict legal adults from using tobacco products until they turn 21 years old. Sponsored by Representative Steve Eliason, this bill will consequently expand the age group that may be charged with the criminal act of underage tobacco use. This will impose a class C misdemeanor on adults who violate the provisions of this proposal.

Marriage, sexual intercourse, and enlisting in the military are all legal for consenting adults. Yet, with bills like HB 296, the state continually tries to intervene in an adult’s life by placing barriers on things that are deemed as not worthy of legal status.