This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Three bills attempted to change Utah tobacco laws this year, but all went up in smoke.
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, attempted to put an 86.5 percent tax on e-cigarettes, the same as on other non-cigarette tobacco products.
The tax would reduce vaping by teens, Ray reasoned. State studies say one of every 10 Utah teens now use e-cigarettes. But critics argued the product is safer than cigarettes, and helps adults reduce cigarette smoking.
Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, tried to raise the legal smoking age from 19 to 21. Opponents argued that would interfere with adults making choices about a legal product.
Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, lost a battle to ban special smoking rooms at Salt Lake City International Airport. But he may have won the war. The city agreed not to include such rooms in its new replacement terminal.
During 2015, a non-election year when little campaign money is needed, the tobacco industry donated $45,600 to Utah legislators.