Vaping Devices Remain The Target Of State Lawmakers

Vaping,  electronic cigarette
Photo credit diego_cervo/GettyImages
By NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

DALLAS (KRLD) - Last month, a new law took effect raising the legal age to buy tobacco products including vape devices to 21 years old. Now, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has included vapes on his list of interim charges for the State Senate to study heading into the 2021 State Legislature.

In the 86th State Legislature, Senator Joan Huffman authored Tobacco 21 raising the age to buy tobacco and vape devices and the substances used to fill these devices. She rolled out the legislation saying, “Both the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Surgeon General have declared teenage e-cigarette consumption an epidemic.”

Huffman co-chairs the State Senate Criminal Justice Committee, which Patrick has tapped to study the “vape epidemic” as an interim charge. His complete call reads as follows:

Keeping Vaping Devices/E-Cigarettes Out of the Hands of Children:
Consider the emerging public safety concerns from the rise in “vaping” and E-cigarette use by minors. Study whether current criminal penalties are sufficient to deter individuals from selling these devices and substances used to fill these devices to minors.

Studying the vape penalties is one of the 116 charges that Patrick has asked the 14 State Senate Committees to study before the 2021 Legislative Session. These charges include 7 that were issued to the Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety in September.

Lt. Gov. Patrick made the following statement upon issuing the interim charges:

“The charges I am releasing today not only reflect my priorities but also include the priorities of the members of the Texas Senate. Senators will study these issues over the next year and hold hearings to get input from the people of Texas. Upon completion of the hearings they will determine whether additional legislation or policy changes are needed to address these critical issues. I am confident that the recommendations I receive from the committees following this process will help move us forward to create sound, conservative public policy to ensure the Texas economy remains strong and our state continues to be the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family.

“I want to thank every senator in advance for the countless hours that will be required to address these charges. I appreciate their leadership and commitment to our great state and I look forward to their recommendations.”