Utah Lawmakers Mull Raising the Smoking Age to 21

Would join New York City in their control efforts


Two Utah lawmakers want to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 19 to 21, which would match the minimum age for drinking alcohol.

Statistics show that most young people become addicted to cigarettes after age 20 or 21, even though they first try smoking earlier, said Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City.

"If we can make sure that we keep them away from what everybody now admits are substances with no redeeming value, then I think we'll be able to protect a lot of people from health damage and protect society from hundreds of millions of dollars in costs," he said.