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Utah Mulling Hiking Smoking Age to 21

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers will consider a proposal Wednesday that would raise the age people can purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21. The hearing at the Utah Capitol comes one day after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed similar legislation, making New York the first large city or state in the country to bar tobacco sales to young adults.

Utah is already among a handful of states that ban sales until 19. Most others ban sales until 18. Sen. Stuart Reid, a Republican from Ogden who is one of the sponsors of the Utah proposal, says if people don’t start smoking before 21, the chances that they will become smokers are much lower. The proposal would need to be approved by the full Legislature once it convenes in January.

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