Smoking age raises to 21 in Texas, with exemptions

Published: Sep. 2, 2019 at 10:54 PM CDT
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A Texas new bill went into effect on September 1 stating that the new legal age to buy and use tobacco changed from 18 to 21. It was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Lt. Mike Eppler with the Denison Police Department said that it's an attempt to crack down on smoking in Texas youth.

"The legislature passed that to try and curve the rise in smoking among young people." Lt. Eppler said.

But according to the legislation, there is a loophole. If you have a valid military ID, you're exempt. If you turned 18 before the law went into effect, you're also exempt.

"The new law states that if you were born on or before Aug. 31, 2001, then the law does not apply to you, and that cut off would have been Saturday, the 31st" Lt. Eppler said.

Meaning those who are have already purchased tobacco prior, are grandfathered in.

Mandy Osborne, who works at Texas Tobacco said that she was worried that this new law would decrease their sales because they have several people who come in regularly.

"We thought it was going to effect us, but it's really not," Osborne said.

After reading the exemptions, Osborne found that her loyal customers wouldn't be effected. She said that while the law applies to everyone, it won't stop minors from trying to come in anyways.

"Usually the ones who get upset are the ones who aren't old enough yet," Osborne said.