Five things happening at your capitol this week

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My Five Cents…

As students dust off their backpacks these last few weeks and head back to school, Fall is definitely in the air. If only our Texas temperatures would cooperate and bring a dose of Fall weather to go along.

Here are five things happening around your state this month:

1. Smoking Age Raises to 21

Beginning September 1st, young Texans will not be able to buy tobacco, cigarettes, or e-cigarettes until they turn 21. A bill passed in the 86th Legislature raised the smoking age from 18 to 21, but exempts active duty military. Military members will still be able to purchase tobacco products at age 18 or older.

According to a recent report published by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, 16% of middle school and high school students have smoked at least one cigarette, and 9% of Texas students under the age of 18 have reported using e-cigarettes within the last 30 days. The authors of SB 21 have stated that this change will reduce the number of young people using tobacco, save lives, and ultimately save Texans billions of dollars in healthcare costs. When Governor Abbott signed this bill, Texas became the 16th state in the United States to raise the smoking age to 21.



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