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Lehi raises age to purchase or possess tobacco from 19 to 21

Photo: Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

LEHI – Attempts in Utah to raise the age to smoke have been snuffed out, but now Lehi has done it. The city is raising the age to be able to purchase or possess tobacco from 19 to 21.

Ryan Bartlett with Utah’s Tobacco Prevention and Control program says there have been a few attempts to change the state law to 21 but big tobacco lobbying and money concerns have killed those bills in committee. That means it’s up to the city governments and Bartlett says it often plays out like this nation wide.

“Tobacco 21 do start out at the local level in municipalities,” Bartlett said.

Lehi now joins 435 other cities in the country to raise the age to 21. State law is 19 to purchase or possess currently. Bartlett says the structure for enforcement is already in place.

“The local health department will work with local police officers to do compliance checks,” said Bartlett.

He also says some other cities in Utah County are considering the age increase as well.