Texas now joins 15 other states in raising the legal age for tobacco use from 18 to 21.
Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law on Friday.
“This is all kind of new for us also. For now we’re just going to see what Greg Abbott has in store for us,” said Clinton Trimble, the owner of Glass Phoenix tobacco store.
Trimble says he is indifferent to the new smoking age law. The law encompasses cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products. Trimble says he won’t feel the effects so much because he doesn’t see many 18-year-olds in his store.
“Most of the people that walk through our doors are 21 to mid-50’s. So for us we’re serving adults and we’re continuing to serve adults,” said Trimble.
Texas will be 16th state to pass this law as the number of high schooler’s smoking skyrockets. According to the CDC there was a 78% increase in the number of students smoking in just one year.
“Awareness is key and the idea that this had been a good thing for everyone has been controled by a select group of people, most of those are very invested in the tobacco company,” said Trimble.
Shelby Massey with the American Heart Association celebrated the bill passing by saying:
“Delaying the age when young people first begin to use tobacco, the leading cause of preventable death, will reduce the risk they will develop a deadly addiction.”
The new law will go into effect on September 1st, and the age restriction does not apply to those in the military.