Age To Purchase Tobacco Products In Texas Raises To 21 On September 1

Chris Fox
August 26, 2019 - 1:13 pm
Tobacco Products

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Texas Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 21, also known as 'Tobacco 21' into law on June 7, 2019. The law raises the legal age to purchase tobacco products, including vapes to the age of 21.

The bill was authored by State Senator Joan Huffman. The Texas Senate passed the legislation by a vote of 27-to-4 with an amendment excluding those under 21 in active military.

The goal is to keep cigarettes and vape pens out of the hands of High School students. Huffman’s roll-out of the bill included recent statistics about the long-term impact. “If the minimum legal age for tobacco consumption in Texas was raised to 21 there would be 32,027 fewer tobacco-related deaths by the year 2100.”

Raising the tobacco age to 21 was also a top priority of Lt. Governor Dan Patrick in the 86th State Legislature. After the Senate gave preliminary approval of the bill Patrick released the following statement:

"I want to thank Sen. Huffman for passing this important legislation for the children of Texas. Senate Bill 21 will save lives and is an investment in Texas' future. Increasing the age to purchase tobacco products in Texas to 21 will not only improve public health and save countless lives, it will save Texans billions of dollars in health care costs."

SB-21 was passed by the Texas House by a record vote of 110 Yeas, 36 Nays, 2 Present, not voting.

The Legislation was sponsored in the Texas House by State Representative Dr. John Zerwas. He rolled out the legislation saying, “Passing the law to increase the legal age of sale is a sound fiscal move as we move forward. It’s also sound health policy move that can pay dividends by preventing diseases that cost us the most to treat, and of course will save lives.”

The law takes effect on September 1, 2019.