New bill would crack down on e-cigarette sales to Texas minors

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new bill filed in the Texas legislature aims to make it harder for minors to buy e-cigarettes.

Senate Bill 1332 would hold e-cigarettes to the same regulatory and permitting requirements as traditional tobacco products.

Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas, introduced the bill and said it will allow the state to revoke retail licenses from businesses that knowingly sell to minors. “Shop owners will have a strong incentive to check IDs whenever they sell a nicotine delivery device.”

Government studies show one-and-a-half million more students used e-cigarettes last year compared to the year before. The study breaks down to roughly one in every five high schoolers and one in every 20 middle school students.

The main health concern is the nicotine in e-cigarettes.

One pod from leading e-cigarette maker Juul contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes, according to the CDC. 

“Not only are kids trying nicotine, they’re getting the heaviest dose, which means they’re likely to become addicted to nicotine,” said University of Texas Professor Dr. Steven Kelder, a leading researcher on e-cigarettes.

Kelder helped develop curriculum to teach students the dangers of e-cigarettes called CATCH My Breath. 

It’s made up of four 20-30 minutes lessons for both middle and high school students. 

“The question is when that kid is offered that e-cigarette at a party, what are they going to say and how are they going to say it,” Kelder said. “Are they going to look like a dumb-dumb, are they going to look uncool, are they going to look like a smart kid that doesn’t want to do it.”

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