FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2015
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN, TX – Today, SB 97, a bill authored by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa that relates to the sale, distribution, possession, and use of electronic cigarettes, was unanimously voted out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. SB 97 prohibits the sale of these increasingly popular products to anyone under 18 years of age.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"I am pleased that this legislation passed unanimously out of committee and I am proud of the bipartisan support to protect our children. SB 97 is a necessary regulation to keep these federally unregulated, potentially addicting products out of the hands of our teens.
Today's vote puts Texas one step closer to joining the 41 other states that already prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes or vaping/alternative tobacco products to minors due to the potentially harmful health consequences and the addictive nature of the nicotine in e-cigarettes."
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or vape pens, are battery-powered vaporizers that turn nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals into an aerosol that is then inhaled by the user. Teens now use e-cigarettes more than any other tobacco product, including conventional tobacco cigarettes. As the popularity of these products continues to grow, so do concerns regarding their potentially harmful effects.
Electronic cigarettes are currently unregulated at the federal level and in the state of Texas. These products' lack of regulation, together with their influence on adolescents and the concern they present to the public health community, reinforce the need for legislation at the state level.