Health & Science

Texas Legislation Hopes To Ban The Sale Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

The sale of tobacco products to those under 18 is prohibited in Texas. But electronic cigarettes fly under the radar. Now a Houston area legislator wants to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors.

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eGo style e-cigarette. Image credit: Wikipedia

Texas is one of the few remaining states that permit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors — those battery-powered devices that turn liquid nicotine into a vapor that’s inhaled. At least 41 states have laws that restrict sales to minors. Rep.Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, wants a similar law in Texas.

“You go into an e-cigarette shop and they don’t have to ask you for an I.D. I don’t know how any adult could justify that it’s okay for kids to purchase e-cigarettes, which can more harmful to your health, and not cigarettes.” 

House Bill 170 doesn’t address advertising restrictions, warning labels, flavors or other issues — it would simply restrict the sale of e-cigs to minors. Similar bills have been proposed in both houses, and Alvarado is optimistic the Legislature will pass one of them.

“It is hard to predict, but I think there’s gonna be more information presented that may sway lawmakers. And again, we’re only talking about minors.”

A recent National Institute on Drug Abuse survey finds e-cigarette use among teenagers has surpassed the use of conventional cigarettes. Alvarado pushed passage of Houston’s smoking ban in restaurants and bars when she was on the city council. The Texas Legislature convenes in Austin on January 13th.

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