Tobacco 21 in Texas

July 21, 2017

Nearly 95 percent of smokers start before the age of 21, when the developing brain is highly vulnerable to the addictive effects of nicotine. In Texas, 13,700 kids become daily smokers every year, and one-third of them will die prematurely as a result.


Raising the tobacco sale age to 21 is an effective strategy to fight tobacco use. According to a study commissioned by the University of Texas, increasing the tobacco age of sale to 21 in Texas would result in 30,500 fewer smokers after three years, and lead to $185 million in reduced healthcare expenditures and productivity costs over five years.


During the 2017 Texas Legislative session, ACS CAN advocates and volunteers gained momentum for the 2019 session with strong bipartisan support for a “Tobacco 21” bill to raise the age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21, which would reduce the presence of tobacco products in schools and prevent thousands of young people from becoming addicted. ACS CAN also supported passage of a study to determine the potential budget savings in Texas to be generated by raising the age of sale for tobacco to 21, which would further strengthen the support of the Tobacco 21 bill in the 2019 Legislative session.


Learn more about the Texas Tobacco 21 initiative here.