Tobacco products will now only be available to those aged 21 years and older, thanks to a new law that went into effect on Sunday.
On September 1st, Senate Bill 21 officially went into effect, raising the smoking age in Texas from 18 to 21 years. The law, crafted by Sen. Joan Huffman and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, does exempt members of the military from the age increase. Huffman told the Texas Tribune that an idea behind crafting the age increase was to create “social distance” between younger students and students old enough to purchase tobacco and nicotine products.
Texas is now the sixteenth state to raise its smoking age. The legislation will have one restriction for future increases, however, as it prevents local governments from raising the smoking age higher than 21.