If passed, Texas would have highest smoking age in U.S.
One Texas Lawmaker thinks raising the smoking age is a good idea. But his idea faces an uphill battle in Austin.
State Senator Carlos Uresti wants to raise the smoking age to 21. Lisa Dahm of the South Texas College of Law likes the idea because it protects your kids.
“We’re pushing to keep smoking away from teens. So I guess it’s in line with that,” Dahm told KTRH.
Melinda Little of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids likes it, too.
“This is a bill that we support,” Little said.
But if the bill passes, it would mean the state could lose 40 million dollars in revenue from the tobacco tax in the 2014-2015 budget. Little says critics shouldn't look at it like that.
“They’re looking at it the wrong way. That will be offset by the health care savings that you are going to get,” Little explained.
If it does pass, Dahm says you might see other states follow Texas' lead.
“I don’t know that they’d do it because of what Texas does. They’d do it because Obamacare is driving them to do it,” Dahm said.
Texas would have the highest smoking age in the country if the bill goes through. Right now 46 states have set the smoking age at 18. Four others, Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah have the age at 19.