Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

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Urgent Call to Action – HB157


This Call to Action has ended – thank you to everyone that made your voice heard!

This is an URGENT CALL TO ACTION on House Bill 157 introduced by Representative Kraig Powell. If enacted, the bill will raise the tobacco and vapor use age from the current age of 19 up to 21.

If enacted into law, this would prohibit legal adults age 18, 19, or 20 from purchasing or possessing tobacco products, vapor products or related paraphernalia. It would ban the sale of such items to those under 21 and prohibit those under 21 from being present at certain establishments where such items are sold or used—unless accompanied by a parent—unless you’re “an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces.”

This will be the 3rd such attempt at this bill with one defeat on the Senate floor and last year it did not make it out of the respective committee.


HB157 will:

  • Raise the use age from the current 19 years old to 21 years old
  • Prohibit the employment of anyone under 21 in vapor specialty outlets if the vapor specialty outlets allow sampling and/or demonstration of products.

HB157 has been assigned to the House Revenue & Taxation committee and will be heard in committee on Monday February 29th at 8:00 am. We are asking everyone to email and call the committee members before 4pm on Wednesday and ask them to oppose this bill. See talking points below for details.


Suggested talking points (just pick one or two but be prepared for questions just in case): 

The only thing this law accomplishes is

  • Sends the message that at 18 years old you are old enough to fight, die, and/or kill for your country, old enough to be required to pay income taxes, go on a mission, drive a vehicle, sign a contract, be charged as an adult with a crime, and be accountable in all other ways an adult is held accountable. But you can’t decide whether or not you should smoke.
  • Instead of criminalizing adult behavior, we should be focused on increased education and awareness about the dangers of these habits. Let’s help teens not start in the first place by understanding what causes that choice and helping to prevent it through education instead of law, and help those who want to quit to do so.

Important: We can’t say this loud enough – Be courteous and respectful at all times in both your emails and phone calls. This is always a very sensitive topic as nobody wants our youth to begin using the product. However there must be a balance between prevention, education and laws that don’t infringe on the rights of adults.


House Revenue & Taxation Standing Committee

Legislator Email Phone District
 Daniel McCay (R) (Chairman) dmccay@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-810-4110  41
 Jeremy A. Peterson (R) jeremyapeterson@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-390-1480  9
 Joel K. Briscoe (D) jbriscoe@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-946-9791  25
 Rich Cunningham (R) rcunningham@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-722-4942  50
 Gage Froerer (R) gfroerer@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-391-4233  8
 Brian M. Greene (R) bgreene@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-358-1338  57
 Eric K. Hutchings (R) ehutchings@le.utah.gov Home: 801-963-2639 38
 Ken Ivory (R) kivory@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-694-8380 47
 Brian S. King (D) briansking@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-560-0769 28
John Knotwell jknotwell@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-449-1834 52
 Mike K. McKell (R) mmckell@le.utah.gov Cell: 801-210-1495 66
 Douglas V. Sagers (R) dougsagers@le.utah.gov Cell: 435-830-3485 21
  Jon E. Stanard jstanard@le.utah.gov Cell: 435-414-4631 62


Libertas Utah has a great tool you can use to contact all members of the committee at once. However, if you prefer normal email methods, the list of email addresses have been compiled below this. Click here to submit your comments to the House Revenue & Taxation committee using the Libertas website.


Comma delimited list:  dmccay@le.utah.gov,jeremyapeterson@le.utah.gov, jbriscoe@le.utah.gov, rcunningham@le.utah.gov, gfroerer@le.utah.gov, bgreene@le.utah.gov, ehutchings@le.utah.gov, kivory@le.utah.gov, briansking@le.utah.gov, jknotwell@le.utah.gov, mmckell@le.utah.gov, dougsagers@le.utah.gov, jstanard@le.utah.gov,

Semicolon delimited list:  dmccay@le.utah.gov; jeremyapeterson@le.utah.gov; jbriscoe@le.utah.gov; rcunningham@le.utah.gov; gfroerer@le.utah.gov; bgreene@le.utah.gov; ehutchings@le.utah.gov; kivory@le.utah.gov; briansking@le.utah.gov; jknotwell@le.utah.gov; mmckell@le.utah.gov; dougsagers@le.utah.gov; jstanard@le.utah.gov;


You can also tweet to everyone using the hashtag #utvaportax

  • Utah House Democrats: @utahhousedems
  • Utah House Republicans: @utahhousegop
  • Utah Senate Democrats: @UTSenateDems
  • Utah Senate Republicans: @UtahSenateGOP
  • Utah Senate: @utahsenate

Libertas Utah has put together a great video summary of this bill and why it’s bad for Utah.

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