Press Releases

McAdams joins local government, health officials to announce bipartisan bill raising age to purchase tobacco

July 2, 2019

Provo, Utah—Congressman Ben McAdams joined local elected officials and a Utah County Health Department expert to talk about his support for bipartisan legislation to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21. The “Tobacco to 21 Act” (H.R. 2411) would make it unlawful to sell a tobacco product to anyone under the age of 21. Two Utah county municipalities have already adopted local ordinances with that requirement. Utah state legislators have passed it as well and are gradually phasing in the age 21 requirement.

“Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. and nearly 90 percent of smokers first try a tobacco product by age 18. Utah is once again in the lead with a life-saving and health-improving policy and I’m proud to join with Congressman Chris Stewart and others on legislation raising the age to 21 nationally,” said McAdams.

Utah County Health Department Executive Director, Ralph Clegg notes “The success we have seen here in Utah has not happened overnight. It is the culmination of many partners’ time and efforts and shows how we can all come together on a bipartisan issue for the health of our communities. Lehi City and Cedar Hills are to be congratulated for their efforts, which were instrumental in helping state legislators see the value in passing the Tobacco 21 legislation.”

McAdams said evidence shows that if someone has not started using tobacco by age 26, they are likely to never start. Tobacco use costs the U.S. about $170 billion in health care spending each year, including $542 million in Utah. More information can be found at The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and The American Heart Association

McAdams said he’s proud to stand with local officials to highlight their positive results in Utah from the age 21 tobacco purchase requirement and to talk about lives and money saved by this common-sense approach.