Texas Senate Votes to Raise Tobacco Age to 19

Staff Report

The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas 18-year-olds wouldn't be able to buy cigarettes under a bill given preliminary approval Wednesday by the state Senate.

The Senate voted 22-8 to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products to 19. It's a move supporters say would improve public health and help keep cigarettes away from high school students.

According to the Department of State Health Services, roughly one-fourth of Texas high school students smoked cigarettes in 2006.

The bill still needs a final Senate vote before it goes to the House for consideration.