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Legislation To Raise Tobacco (And E-Cigarette) Age Is Unnecessary, Risky

Published on 6/24/2017
The Huffington Post...The University of Michigan’s “Monitoring the Future” survey indicates that teen smoking rates are continuing a steady decline and are lower now than any time in the 42 years since the National Institute of Drug Abuse began sponsoring the survey.

The trend didn’t skip Texas. Still, for the sixth time in recent history, the 2017 Texas legislature considered legislation that would raise the age of purchase for cigarettes (and smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes) to 21 – making instant criminals out of hundreds of thousands of Texans who now legally smoke, dip or vape.

Texas isn’t alone. The Tobacco 21 coalition touts the fact that they’ve already persuaded 230 cities and counties to raise the age of purchase. A recent review of legislation in the states reveals that in 2017, at least 23 states have or are still considering doing the same. California and Hawaii have already taken the plunge and New Jersey and New York are currently debating it.

It’s part of a national effort, pushed by tobacco control groups like the American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. In a Texas Health Committee hearing, proponents cited kids as the primary motive, but failed to emphasize that no kids – only adults – would be affected by the law.

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