At the stroke of midnight this morning, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Texas went to 21-years-old, unless you’re part of a small group of young adults getting an exemption..
The age increase came as a result of the passage of S.B. 21, passed the Senate by a 27-4 vote and the House of Representatives by a 110-36 vote earlier this year. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in early June. In that bill is 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.
Also in the bill is an exemption for members of the federal or state armed forces who present valid military identification, as long as they are at least 18 years old.
The bill also 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.