SALT LAKE CITY – Senate Bill 12, which proposed to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, did not survive the Utah Senate Tuesday.
The bill was defeated in a 16-12 vote. Currently the legal age for acquiring tobacco products is Utah is 19, as it is in a number of other states. The only place in the nation where the legal age has been raised to 21 is New York City, which enacted the age change last year.
According to Deseret News, while state senators agreed tobacco use has its dangers, some could not support the bill for various reasons. Among those reasons included not seeing a big difference between the ages of 19 and 21, and a loss of tobacco tax revenue.
According to senate fiscal notes attached to SB 12, the legislation could have potentially impacted some 4,700 people and resulted in a loss of $2.7 million to the state’s general fund and local government funds.
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