Contact: Carol Schliesinger
Public Relations Manager
SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 12, 2018) – Today, San Antonio became the first city in Texas to increase the minimum legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, and chewing tobacco. The public health measure is intended to reduce the number of young consumers of tobacco products and, in time, reduce overall tobacco addiction. The changes will take effect on Oct. 1, 2018.
“This is about saving lives,” Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said. “One of our most important tasks as city leaders is to protect the health of our communities. Raising the legal age for tobacco-product purchases is the most direct step we can take as a city to prevent deaths that come too soon.”
After passing Tobacco 21, as the initiative is known, San Antonio now joins five states and more than 290 U.S. communities in 19 states to increase the tobacco sale age to 21 to protect youth from the harms of tobacco use.
“Raising the legal sale age to 21 will help improve our city’s public health and quality of life for decades to come. It will impact all of San Antonio and save lives,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Director, Metro Health. “Reduction in smoking rates will help save millions of dollars in healthcare costs.”
Metro Health is committed to working with other local municipalities in Bexar County and with the State of Texas to support their efforts to raise the tobacco sale age to 21 and reduce youth smoking and addiction.