AUSTIN, Texas, April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Tobacco 21 legislation now being considered in the Texas State Legislature will raise the age for legal sales of tobacco or e-cigarettes from 18 to 21. The Texas Freedom League, consumer advocates and parents, as well as the FDA, point out that the Tobacco 21 bill will be ineffective if signed into law.
The key point that the FDA and consumer advocates make is that raising the age of legal sales to 21 for purchase of e-cigarettes and cigarettes will not be a deterrent in accessing the risk category of high nicotine pods. A newly released study from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation states that based on an analysis of indepth, qualitative interviews with young vapers in California between the ages of 15-25, the most common pathway of use reported by participants was smoking to vaping (74%). (https://resources.prev.org/inthenews_smokingvaping.asp)
Among the advocates against the legislation, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, "It is not the age at which kids can purchase that is the problem, but the category risk due to the high level nicotine pod products." The most effective approach would be to cap nicotine at 29 milligrams and under on the pods that contain dangerously high levels of nicotine.
Consumer advocate, Charlotte Owen of Matrix Minds, LLC, states that the longer people are delayed from having access to the step down system of lowering nicotine gradually with e-cigarettes, the longer they will smoke cigarettes or high level nicotine pods. The step down system is designed to help smokers eventually stop smoking.
The law as it is proposed would fine violators with a $500 fine and a Class C misdemeanor. This would adversely affect anyone intending to enter the military, as a waiver would have to be obtained in order to do so. However, the main point of contention is the high level nicotine pods that are available without the penalty of buying them under the age of 21.
Another study by University of Pennsylvania on the effects of vaping on teen smoking and birth outcomes concludes that it would be better to keep the age of sales to minor at 18, but to have a tiered minimum purchasing age depending on product risk. (https://ldi.upenn.edu/healthpolicysense/effect-vaping-minimum-age-laws-teen-smoking-and-birth-outcomes)
Please contact your Representatives and Senators in the Legislature to vote no on Senate Bill 21 and House Bill 749 to urge them to vote no or to consider placing a nicotine cap of 29 or below on the higher level nicotine pods. The nicotine cap measure would be effective in reducing sales to minors and teens under age 18.
SOURCE Matrix Minds