Local News

Texas Governor Signs Law Increasing Legal Age for Smoking to 21

By  | 


Governor Greg Abbott has just signed a bill that will bump the legal age for smoking to 21 here in Texas, making the Lone Star State the 15th in America to do so. This will effectively prohibit the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and e-cigarettes to those under the legal age, commencing on September 1, 2019. The bipartisan legislation was introduced as a means of curtailing the attraction of e-cigarettes and smoking products to teenagers.

Texas joins Washington, Virginia, Arkansas, Hawaii, California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont in this move. It mirrors a national push to increase the smoking age to 21 from 18. The only exception to this law in Texas will be those who are members of the military.

Texas Governor Signs Law Increasing Legal Age for Smoking to 21

Photo: Pixabay

Senate Bill 21 was signed into law by Governor Abbott on Friday, June 7, 2019, adding to the number of states lending support to the concept of not popularizing nicotine and tobacco-related products to a young market. “Almost no one starts smoking after age 25,” a report by the surgeon general states. “The younger youth are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they’ll be addicted.” The report notes that close to 90 percent of smokers started smoking by age 18. This new law aims to address those statistics head-on.

Texas Governor Signs Law Increasing Legal Age for Smoking to 21

Photo: Flickr/Lindsay Fox at EcigaretteReviewed.com

In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that e-cigarettes are the cause for driving the popularity of tobacco use among youth at high school age, citing a 38 percent increase in this population segment between 2017 and 2018. Among today’s youth, e-cigarettes are the most frequently used smoking product, outpacing cigarettes, cigars, and other such paraphernalia, according to the CDC. The most commonly used e-cigarette is manufactured by Juul Labs Inc., which has expressed its support of banning sales to America’s youth.