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Interim Committee Approves Smoking Age Increase

Nov 20, 2013
Raul Lieberwith

A draft of a bill that would raise the legal smoking age from 19 to 21 received approval from the Health and Human Services Interim Committee today.

Sponsors of the bill say that raising the age limit would help prevent younger teenagers from starting smoking. The Senate sponsor, Republican Stuart Reid, says the change would also promote better public health.

The Utah Department of Health has launched a new ad campaign for people who want to quit smoking. The effort focuses on people trying to kick the habit one day at a time.

The “Quitting For Real” campaign showcases television commercials that portray former smokers going through every day struggles as they fight the urge to light up again. Adam Bramwell of the Utah Department of Health says that after several failed attempts, many smokers get into the mindset that no matter what they do, they’ll never break their habit.  

After considerable debate Monday, the state House of Representatives approved legislation making it illegal for Utah drivers to smoke in their cars if they have a child as a passenger. The debate centered not around the effects of second hand smoke, but on the role of government in our lives.

The bill would make it a secondary offense to smoke while driving with someone under 16 years old. Democratic sponsor Patrice Arent argued that it’s lawmakers’ responsibility to protect children from harm.  

Ban on Smoking in Your Car with Children Moves Forward

Feb 5, 2013

A bill making it illegal to smoke in a car with children is one step closer to becoming law after getting a favorable recommendation from the House Health and Human Services Committee.

Democratic Representative Patrice Arent says her bill is aimed at helping the thousands of children without a voice who are being harmed by second hand smoke in cars. Several doctors spoke in favor of the bill, including Dr. Kevin Nelson, a pediatrician at the University of Utah.