Statement on Bill to Combat Illicit E-Cigarette Sales to Teens
AUSTIN – “Youth addiction to nicotine is becoming, once again, a public health crisis,” said Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson upon filing SB 1332. The bipartisan bill places e-cigarettes under the same regulatory and permitting requirements as traditional tobacco products.
“According to the U.S. Surgeon General, e-cigarette use among youth has reached ‘epidemic’ levels. Between 2017 and 2018 use among those 21 years and younger increased by 78%; now one in five high school students are regular users.
“By treating e-cigarettes in the same manner as tobacco products, the state will be able to revoke retail licenses from vendors who knowingly sell to minors. Shop owners will have a strong incentive to check IDs whenever they sell a nicotine delivery device.
“There may be value to e-cigarettes for adults trying to quit smoking. But the nicotine in e-cigarettes is highly addictive, and the wild popularity of these products among teens is leading to a wave of nicotine addiction and a new generation of smokers who otherwise would not be smoking. Meanwhile, the nicotine itself may harm the developing brains of young users, and the aerosols in e-cigarettes include heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles with carcinogenic effects,” said Johnson.
Senators Schwertner, Perry, West, Watson, and Rodriguez have signed as joint authors to Senator Johnson’s bill, demonstrating key support without regard to political party. “Clearly, the health of our kids and long-term public health costs are not partisan concerns. I think parents across the state will agree,” Johnson concluded.
Senator Nathan Johnson was elected in 2018 to represent the economically and demographically diverse Texas Senate District 16. Johnson is a member of the Committees on Health & Human Services, Veteran Affairs & Border Security, Water & Rural Affairs, and Administration.