Governor Abbott’s signature is deciding factor on if age increases to 21 to purchase tobacco product

KAMC News

LUBBOCK, TX – One signature is all that is needed for Texas to raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21. The bill is sitting on Governor Abbott’s desk now and we should have a decision soon. 

Politicians, who are advocating for the change, want to make it a higher age to protect middle schoolers and high schoolers from tobacco products like cigarettes and vapes. 

But some local smoke shops are worried it could affect business but they said they don’t think it will stop young teens from getting their hands on tobacoo. 

“Yeah they might be of age, but is it really for them?” Johnathan Rangel asks about the new law. He works as a cashier at Nothin Butt Smokes. “It’s hard to tell sometimes, but sometimes they walk in and I’m like ‘I can see your backpack,” he said.

But he said whatever the age limit is, the business policies will stay the same.

“If you come to our shop, we’re still going to card, we’re going to do it for fraud for the age, nothing is going to change,” Rangel said. 

This kind of legislation is becoming more and more common. Just this week politicans introduced a bi-partisan bill, that if passed, would make the age limit 21 nationwide. 

“It’s our responsibility as parents and public servants to do everything we can to keep these harmful products out of highschool and out of youth culture,” said senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who has been advocating for the bill. 

If the governor signs it, Texas would join nearly a dozen other states with tobacco laws restritcing the purchase of tobacco until 21 years old. 

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