AUSTIN, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – The Texas House of Representatives gave their initial approval Tuesday to raise the age at which consumers can purchase tobacco.
Previously set at 18, the bill would raise the sale age to 21, similar to alcohol, and would include e-cigarettes.
The bill would not include military personnel.
Senate Bill 21 initially did not include an exemption for military personnel when it was initially filed however, lawmakers amended it in the process.
It was amended again Tuesday to include all military personnel with a valid military ID, opposed to just active military personnel, according to the Texas Tribune.
Texas joins 15 other states who have taken action to raise the tobacco sale age.
“In Texas, it is a leading cause of preventable death, more than alcohol accidents and illegal drugs combined,” Charlie Gagen with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action network said Tuesday. “So it is a serious public health concern and we believe that by raising the age to 21, it’s an effective tool to help combat that use.”
With the newly added amendment, the bill must head back to the Senate before it reaches the Governor’s desk.