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Texas Legislators Propose Raising The Age To Buy Tobacco

Law makers want to raise the age to purchase a product they say is killing Texas youth.


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Two Houston law makers want to prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products.

Richmond Republican representative, John Zerwas is the author of House Bill 1908, and feels passionate about the issue.

"It kills 28,000 people in Texas every year, and more than 480,000 nationwide," says Zerwas. "And nearly half a million Texas kids alive no will ultimately die prematurely from smoking if the current trends continue."

Doctor Ernest Hawk is the head of cancer prevention at MD Anderson Cancer center.

Doctor Hawk stated that the proposed legislation could reduce respiratory infections, asthmatic attacks, and low birth weight pregnancies.

"So a whole host of near term benefits from such a policy," says Hawk.

The second bill proposed is Senate Bill 910 by Senator Joan Huffman of Houston.

She wants this legislation to pass so that Texas can set an example for the rest of the country.

"I really believe that if we do it other states will follow, and so that's why it's so important for Texas to lead on this issue," says Huffman.

Both legislators are also concerned with the effect tobacco has on the healthcare system.

They say it adds 8.8 billion dollars annually to the Texas health care bill.