Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill into law that will make his state the 15th one in the U.S. to raise its tobacco purchase age to 21. Texas now will become one of 30% of the U.S. States with a tobacco purchase age of 21.
The new law begins to go into effect September 1st. An exemption is made for members of the military who are at least 18 years old. The law contains language in that if you have reached the age of 18 by August 31, 2019, you will still be grandfathered to purchase tobacco products and exempt from the new law.
Texas joins Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Maine, Oregon, Massachusetts, Virginia, Utah, Washington, Illinois, Delaware, Arkansas, Maryland, and Vermont as states where the tobacco purchase age is now 21. With California and Texas having such laws, it means the two most populous states in the U.S. now have a minimum tobacco purchase age of 21.
There are now several federal bills in Congress proposing raising the tobacco purchase minimum age to 21 on a national level. It’s a movement supported by Tobacco-Free Kids, Tobacco 21, and most recently, Altria has announced support for a federally mandated minimum tobacco purchase age of 21. This is a movement most in the premium cigar industry have chosen not to fight.