Bill to raise purchase age of tobacco to 21 in Texas heads to governor’s desk


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A bill that would raise the tobacco sale age from 18 to 21 has made its way through the Texas Senate and awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

Lawmakers gave the final approval to the bill this week sending it on its way to Governor Greg Abbott for final approval.

Charlie Gagen, the Texas Grassroots Director at the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said: 

“In Texas, it is a leading cause of preventable death — more than alcohol, accidents and illegal drugs combined — so it is a serious public health concern and we believe that by raising the age to 21 it’s an effective tool to help combat that use.”

The bill would apply to e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, as well.    

13 states have raised the age to buy tobacco products to 21 and on the national level, there is an effort to make that rule the law of the land.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose home state of Kentucky was long one of the nation’s leading tobacco producers, introduced bipartisan legislation Monday to raise the minimum age for buying any tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The chamber’s top Republican, who said he was making enactment of the bill “one of my highest priorities,” issued his proposal at a time when the use of e-cigarettes is growing and underage vaping has soared, raising concerns by health experts. The measure would apply to all tobacco products, e-cigarettes and vapor products and was co-sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., whose state has also been a major tobacco producer.

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