The minimum age to purchase and possess tobacco products and e-cigarettes in Texas will soon be increasing to 21-years-old, as today Gov. Greg Abbott signed S.B. 21 into law.
The increase will go into effect on Sept. 1, though it contains a grandfather clause that will allow anyone born on or before Aug. 31, 2001—i.e. anyone that could legally buy tobacco in the state the day before the law goes into effect—to continue to be allowed to purchase tobacco. People born on or after Sept. 1, 2001 would be subject to the new law.
There is also an exemption for members of the federal or state armed forces who present valid military identification.
Also of note in the bill is a provision that prevents any municipality within the state from adopting or enforcing an ordinance regarding the minimum age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes or tobacco products in general that is more stringent than the state’s law.
The bill passed the Senate by a 27-4 vote, while the House of Representatives approved it by a 110-36 vote.
Texas joins more than a dozen other states in raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old.