TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - September 1 is always a banner day across Texas, as that is the day that many new laws go into effect. Since this was a state legislative year, we should all be aware of new rules enacted by the state legislature. One that stands out is that the minimum age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarettes is increasing from 18 to 21. That’s right, beginning September 1, unless you are in the military, you will have to be 21 to make a tobacco or e-cig related purchase.
The goal, and this is a movement that is crossing the entire US, is that legislators and even tobacco company representatives have acknowledged that it is best to keep these products out of the hands of teens and young adults. It is because of the addictive properties and health risks associated with tobacco and e-cig use.
There is a federal piece of legislation that is in the system as well, so this is something that will, no doubt, eventually blanket the US. It is overdue, though, as many of the e-cig and vaping products have used marketing strategies that blatantly go after younger Americans with flavored juices that sound more like candy selections than something you would inhale.
Now, the new laws are supported by the tobacco industry because they have a provision that keeps states from raising the age farther – so they are protecting their interests down the road. But laws like this are a little about what compromise is about, and raising the age for the purchase of tobacco should help curb some early life addictions, make people a little healthier and please those who don’t smoke, and that makes for a Better East Texas.