For years, Texas democrats have tried to raise the smoking age and now some republicans are joining the effort. They say the lost revenue from smoking taxes will be more than made up for in health savings.
A typical criticism of raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 is "we can send them off to die in war, but they can't smoke." Richmond State Rep Dr. John Zerwas says it's the right thing to do for our kids' health.
"I also think that it's a bit inappropriate to compare a quote unquote 'right to smoke' and that passage in life, if you will, to the very noble thing of choosing to serve our country."
Dr. Zerwas says it's more important to focus on issues like cancer prevention and protecting fetuses from the effects of their mothers' smoking.
"In the future we would see less detrimental health care situations such as smoking mothers or pregnant women who had chosen to not stop smoking and the ill effect that has on the fetus."
Dr. Zerwas says he's optimistic his bill will pass. But a vape shop owner in Austin told the Dallas Morning News "It’s my mother’s job to tell me not to smoke, not the state of Texas."