1. Maintain or increase funding for state's tobacco prevention and control program;
2. Increase the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21; and
3. Raise Utah's tobacco tax to encourage an even further reduction in tobacco use.
The American Lung Association in Utah along with our partners at the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Utah provide leadership and guidance for public policy efforts to continue the state's success in reducing the impact of tobacco among Utahans. Together with our partners, the Lung Association works to ensure tobacco control and prevention remains a priority for state legislators and local decision makers.
In 2016, the American Lung Association in Utah supported legislation that would have increased the legal age of sale for tobacco products to 21 years old from age 19 currently. Although the legislation did not make it out of the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, legislators were educated on the issue for when the bill is introduced in future legislative sessions.
Additionally the Lung Association supported legislation that would have eliminated smoking rooms at the Salt Lake City International Airport. The bill was defeated, however the city agreed not to include smoking rooms in its new replacement terminal eliminating secondhand smoke exposure for workers and travelers.
Funding for the Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at the state Department of Health was again maintained at about the same level as previous years in fiscal year 2017. The program is funded by a combination of tobacco Master Settlement Agreement dollars and tobacco tax revenue.
In 2017, the American Lung Association in Utah will continue pushing to increase the sales age for tobacco products to 21, and to maintain or even increase funding for the Utah Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.