Published 2 days ago
on March 19, 2019
If Texas 21 and similar groups have their way, the Lone Star State would become the seventh state in the union to adopt Tobacco 21 policy.
The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs gave audience to testimony from groups and individuals both for and against proposed legislation on Monday. Senate Bill 21, filed by Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) was the proposed bill under discussion. Speaking on the bill, Huffman said:
“National data shows that about 95 percent — 95 percent — of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21. Even more astounding is that three-quarters of adult smokers try their first cigarette before the age of 18.”
Perhaps equally astounding is the idea that making the illicit status of an activity remain so longer will have a positive impact in decreasing the frequency of the activity. This concern perhaps did not occur to Senator Huffman.
Samantha Boy of the organization Parents Against Vaping provided testimony that was quite disturbing of her daughter, now 16 years of age, who took up vaping at age 13, and who is now reportedly in her sixth treatment facility. Treatment facilities for vaping are, to say the least, a new and novel invention. In testimony, Boy related:
“This became a severe addiction for my daughter. When she couldn’t vape, she was irritable, depressed and isolated. She would come into my room in the middle of the night and beg for a nicotine patch. Do you know a 15-year-old that comes into your room at night begging for a nicotine patch? It’s unheard of, but it’s happening.”
Additionally, according to Boy, the teenager — while vaping — would sneeze constantly and cough up blood, symptoms heretofore unheard of in connection with vapor products but certain to be persuasive with listeners.
Not everyone was quick to react with panic, however. Charlotte Owen, a shop owner, responded:
“I don’t feel [Tobacco 21]’s effective,” Charlotte Owen said. “We’ve had 18 and over for as long as I’ve been an adult and it didn’t work for me and it’s not working for a lot of other kids. Just changing the age from 18 to 21 on a bill somewhere, how is that going to impact anything?”
John Castle is a contributing writer and news contributor for VAPE News Magazine. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.