IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Utah

Restrictions in Utah


Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Utah

Utah law prohibits smoking in: all enclosed indoor places of public access, including buildings, offices, shops, elevators, restrooms, means of transportation or common carrier waiting rooms, restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, taverns, cabarets, shopping malls, retail stores, grocery stores, arcades, libraries, theaters, concert halls, museums, art galleries, planetariums, historical sites, auditoriums, arenas, barber shops, hair salons, laundromats, sports or fitness facilities, common areas of nursing homes, hospitals, resorts, hotels, motels, “bed and breakfast” lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities, including the lobbies, hallways, elevators, restaurants, cafeterias, other designated dining areas, and restrooms, child care facilities, elementary or secondary school buildings and educational facilities or the property on which those facilities are located, any building owned, rented, leased, or otherwise operated by a social, fraternal, or religious organization when used solely by the organization members or their guests or families, any facility rented or leased for private functions from which the general public is excluded and arrangements for the function are under the control of the function sponsor, any workplace that is not a place of public access or a publicly owned building or office but has one or more employees who are not owner-operators of the business, any area where the proprietor or manager of the area has posted a conspicuous sign stating “no smoking”, “thank you for not smoking”, or similar statement, and a holder of a club license; and public owned buildings and offices.


Utah Code § 26-38-3: Restriction on smoking in public places and in specified places; Exceptions
Utah Code § 26-38-2: Definitions


The Utah Indoor Clean Air Act supersedes any ordinance enacted by the governing body of a political subdivision that restricts smoking in a place of public access and that is not essentially identical to the provisions of state law. However, the Act does not supersede an ordinance enacted by the governing body of a political subdivision that restricts smoking in outdoor places of public access that are owned or operated by:

  • A political subdivision,
  • A state institution of higher education, or
  • A state institution of public education


Utah Code § 26-38-6: Local ordinances




The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Areas not commonly open to the public of owner-operated businesses having no employees other than the owner-operator
  • Designated guest rooms in hotels, motels, bed and breakfast lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities
  • Separate, enclosed smoking areas:
    • located in the passenger terminals of an international airport located in the city of the first class;
    • vented directly to the outdoors; and
    • certified, by a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineer licensed by the state, to prevent the drift of any smoke to any nonsmoking area of the terminal
  • A person who:
    • is a member of an American Indian tribe whose members are recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to American Indians who are members of those tribes;
    • is an American Indian who actively practices an American Indian religion, the origin and interpretation of which is from a traditional American Indian culture;
    • is smoking tobacco using the traditional pipe of an American Indian tribal religious ceremony, of which tribe the person is a member, and is smoking the pipe as part of that ceremony; and
    • the ceremony is conducted by a pipe carrier, Indian spiritual person, or medicine person recognized by the tribe of which the person is a member and the Indian community
  • Hookah establishments that:
    • Certified to the Department of Health by July 1, 2012 that they met the requirements for the exemption and
    • Obtained a Certificate of Exemption from the Department of Health
    • Requirements
      • Prior to January 1, 2012:
        • The establishment had and continues to have a Class C or D liquor license;
        • The establishment sold a mixture of tobacco and other flavors for the purpose of heating, inhaling, and exhaling the tobacco mixture through a hookah pipe in the establishment; and
        • The sale of the mixture of tobacco and other flavors for use in a hookah pipe in the establishment constituted at least 10% of the establishment’s gross sales; AND
      • During the period of the exemption, the establishment:
        • Maintains its Class C or D liquor license;
        • Admits only individuals 21 years of age and older into the establishment;
        • Prominently displays signs on the premises and in advertisements that disclose the dangers of second hand smoke and inhaling tobacco in accordance with administrative rules adopted by the Department of Health;
        • Requires that only tobacco products sold by the establishment may be heated, inhaled, and exhaled in the establishment; and
        • May not sell a product for use in a hookah that contains more than 30% tobacco or more than .05% nicotine
      • This exemption will sunset on July 1, 2017.
    • E-cigarettes use in places of public access if:
      • the use of the e-cigarette occurs in the place of public access that is a retail establishment that sells e-cigarettes and the use is for the purpose of:
        • the retailer of an e-cigarette demonstrating to the purchaser of the e-cigarette how to use the e-cigarette; OR
        • the customer sampling a product sold by the retailer for use in an e-cigarette; AND
      • the retailer of e-cigarettes:
        • has all required licenses for the possession and sale of e-cigarettes in a place of business;
        • does not permit a person under the age of 19 to enter any part of the premises of the retail establishment in which the e-cigarettes are sold; AND
        • the sale of e-cigarettes and substances for use in e-cigarettes constitutes at least 75% of the establishment’s gross sales
      • This exemption will sunset on July 1, 2017.


Utah Code § 26-38-3: Restriction on smoking in public places and in specified places; Exceptions
Utah Code § 26-38-3.5: Smoking ban exemption for Native American ceremony
Utah Code § 26-38-2.5: Temporary exemption for certain restrictions on heated tobacco
Utah Admin. Code R392-510-14: Temporary exemption
Utah Admin. Code R392-510-16: Restrictions on use of e-cigarette in place of public access


The building owner, agent, or operator of a temporarily exempt establishment must conspicuously post signs at all entrances or in a position clearly visible on entry into the place that are easily readable and not obscured in any way. The words must not be less than 1.5 inches in height. The signs must state “WARNING: There is no risk-free level of inhaling tobacco smoke or exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke. -U.S. Surgeon General.”


Utah Admin. Code R392-510-15: Signs required for temporary exemption

Individuals under 19 years of age cannot buy or attempt to buy, accept, or have in their possession any cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or tobacco in any form.  Additionally, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to individuals younger than 19 years of age.  The fine starts at $300 and escalates with repeated violations. It is also illegal to acquire, use, display, or transfer a false or altered driver license certificate or identification card to product tobacco or a tobacco product.


Utah Code § 76-10-105: Buying or possessing a cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or tobacco by a minor; Penalty; Compliance officer
Utah Code § 53-3-229(3)(c): Prohibited uses of license certificate; Penalty
Utah Code § 53-3-810(2)(c): Prohibited uses of identification card; Penalties

Utah Code §26-42-103: Violations and penalties — Imposition by enforcing agency and tax commission


Antidiscrimination & Labor Division staff reported that Utah law does not specify a minimum age to work in tobacco retail stores. Staff also reported that there is not a minimum age to work in Utah, but minors under 16 years are subject to certain time restrictions.


It is illegal to knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence provide any cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, tobacco in any form, or tobacco paraphernalia to any person under 19 years of age. It is also illegal for the proprietor of any place of business to knowingly permit persons under 19 years of age to frequent a place of business while they are using tobacco.


Utah Code § 76-10-104: Providing a cigar, cigarette, electronic cigarette, or tobacco to a minor; Penalties
Utah Code § 76-10-104.1: Providing tobacco paraphernalia to minors; Penalties
Utah Code § 76-10-103: Permitting minors to use tobacco in place of business


Any ordinance, regulation, or rule adopted by the governing body of a political subdivision of the state or by a state agency that affects the sale, placement, or display of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, cigarette tobacco, pipe tobacco, or smokeless tobacco that is not essentially identical to the provisions of state law is superseded.


Utah Code § 76-10-105.1(4): Requirement of direct, face-to-face sale of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes; Supremacy clause; Penalties

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.


Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet


In Utah, it is illegal for a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer to give or distribute cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or tobacco products without charge, except to adults at professional conventions where the general public is excluded and to persons of legal age upon their purchase of other tobacco products.


Utah Code § 76-10-111: Prohibition of gift or free distribution of smokeless tobacco or electronic cigarettes; Exceptions
Utah Code § 76-10-112: Prohibition of distribution of cigarettes or other tobacco products; Exceptions


State Tax Commission staff reported that distribution of tobacco product samples is subject to the tax and licensing requirements.


Utah law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

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