The Texas House voted to raise the state’s legal age to purchase tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21.
If the bill is passed, Texas will become the 14th state to enact an over-21 tobacco law, joining Arkansas, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
It will also be the third state to include a military exemption. The bill previously only included members of the military on active duty, but it was broadened to allow all people 18 and over with military IDs to purchase tobacco products.
Senate Bill 21 received preliminary approval from the lower chamber more than one month after the Senate approved a slightly different version of the legislation. The Senate will vote to either appoint a conference committee for the two chambers to iron out differences in the bill or accept the House’s changes and send the legislation to Gov. Greg Abbott.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently announced plans to introduce legislation in the U.S. Senate in May to raise the nationwide minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.