Cigarette buying age in Texas may soon be raised - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Cigarette buying age in Texas may soon be raised

Posted: Updated:

Texas - There's a push to reduce teen smoking across Texas.

A proposed bill, that would raise the buying age to 21 instead of 18, is currently pending before a legislative committee.

If passed, Texas would have the highest cigarette buying age in the nation.

It has the potential to cut 1.6 billion dollars in Medicaid costs for providing health care to people with smoking-related illnesses.

Texas charges a $1.41 tax on a package of 20 cigarettes.

But one big concern is that by increasing the age requirement, we could see a decline in sales and reduction in revenue by $40 million dollars annually.

In response, the author of the bill, Senator Carlos Uresti of San Antonio, says the estimate doesn't take into account possible cost savings from reducing the number of smokers.

Statistics from the U.S. Surgeon General show about 600,000 middle-school students and 3 million high school students smoke cigarettes.

Which is why policies to reduce teen smoking are being urged.

Right now Uresti and his staff are working with the legislative board to come up with better estimates.

An explanation of how reduced tax collections would be recouped is needed.

  • Local HeadlinesMore>>

  • Arrest Made In Connection With Overnight Shooting In Odessa

    Arrest Made In Connection With Overnight Shooting In Odessa

    Arrest Made In Connection With Overnight Shooting In Odessa

    An arrest has been made in connection with the overnight shooting in Odessa.
    An arrest has been made in connection with the overnight shooting in Odessa.
  • CAUGHT ON CAM: Third Ulta Theft

    CAUGHT ON CAM: Third Ulta Theft

    It seems like the Ulta in Odessa just can't catch a break; for the third time they were featured in our Caught on Camera segment, because thieves keep ripping the place off."A guy walks in, walks straight over to the hair straighteners," Susan Rogers with Odessa Crime Stoppers said.
    It seems like the Ulta in Odessa just can't catch a break; for the third time they were featured in our Caught on Camera segment, because thieves keep ripping the place off."A guy walks in, walks straight over to the hair straighteners," Susan Rogers with Odessa Crime Stoppers said.
  • Data Breach Affected both Midland and Odessa Stores

    Data Breach Affected both Midland and Odessa Stores

    NewsWest 9 learned about 2.6 million credit and debit cards were impacted by this data breach, which is about 7% of payment cards used at Michaels store. NewsWest 9 also learned Tuesday that both the Midland and Odessa Michaels were affected by the data breach which started back in May of last year.
    NewsWest 9 learned about 2.6 million credit and debit cards were impacted by this data breach, which is about 7% of payment cards used at Michaels store. NewsWest 9 also learned Tuesday that both the Midland and Odessa Michaels were affected by the data breach which started back in May of last year.