Colorado, Utah Move to Hike Smoking age to 21

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

DENVER (AP) -- Two Western states with some of the nation's lowest smoking rates are considering cracking down even more by raising the tobacco age to 21.

Utah and Colorado lawmakers both voted favorably on proposals Thursday to treat tobacco like alcohol and take it away from 18- to 20-year-olds.

Both proposals face several more votes. But they're the furthest any states have gone to curb access to cigarettes by teens.

Doctors say that about 90 percent of cigarettes purchased for minors are obtained by people between 18 and 20 years old.

Utah already has the nation's lowest smoking rate, about 12 percent in 2011 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Colorado isn't far behind, at about 18 percent in 2011.


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