The Texas Medical Association claims that 90 percent of smokers began when they were 19 or younger. That’s a key factor driving them to support a new bill in the Texas Legislature that would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.
Historically, the Texas legislature doesn’t like to tell Texans what they can buy or sell. But lawmakers will debate whether to make the sale and use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes the same as alcohol, 21.
“In Texas, it kills more than AIDS, crack, heroine, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire, murder and suicide combined, and it’s entirely preventable,” said Austin Dr. Phil Huang says those health concerns take a toll on the state budget.
A new House Interim Report on Public Health highlighted chronic disease caused by smoking as a major driver of taxpayer funded healthcare costs. It vastly outweighs the amount Texas takes in taxes on cigarettes.
Two powerful Houston lawmakers are now taking the issue on; chair of the Senate Committee over most state-issues Sen. Joan Huffman, R – Houston, and the top House budget writer Rep. John Zerwas, R – Richmond, are authors of the bill.
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