Arizona Bill To Raise Smoking Age Clears Health Committee

Published: Monday, February 5, 2018 - 8:57am
Updated: Monday, February 5, 2018 - 9:35am

Some lawmakers want to make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. House Bill 2109 came to be, in part, because a group of students in Cottonwood.

In 2016, Cottonwood became the first city in Arizona to make tobacco products illegal for anyone under the age of 21. The Yavapai Anti-Tobacco Coalition of Youth was responsible for that effort.

And Republican Rep. Paul Boyer, 2109’s sponsor, said they brought the idea to him. He said there are three reasons for upping the age limit.

"All of the data, state and national, demonstrate that upwards of 90 percent or more of individuals who began smoking, or are current smokers, began before the age of 21," Boyer said.

He faced pushback from Rep. Jay Lawrence, who described the measure as another government intrusion into the private lives of individuals.

The measure cleared the health committee but has a ways to go before it becomes law.

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