The Texas Legislature is poised to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
Bills passed out of committee in both chambers would raise the tobacco age from 18 to 21.
“To the extent that we can get these types of products away from children out there, than there's a greater likelihood they will not develop smoking habits and possible nicotine addiction,” says state Rep. John Zerwas, former chief medical officer for Memorial Hermann Hospital System.
Zerwas authored HB 749, which also includes e-cigarettes which have been growing in popularity among young people.
“We actually have support from Juul, which is the leading manufacturer of these products, as well as a leading tobacco company which is supporting this bill.”
The Senate has sent the bill back to the House with an exemption for active military members.
“We know there's going to be plenty of people getting around this, but what we do hope is that this can impact the kids are really very susceptible to any type of addiction,” says Zerwas.