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Texas: Laws and regulations summary

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Past LawsPending LawsCurrent LawsOur view

Past laws

HB 81 (Left Pending in Committee)

  • Similar to SB 97 but uses the term “nicotine products” instead of “e-cigarettes”

SB 706 (Left Pending in Committee)

  • Classifies “A liquid substance” used to refill an e-cigarette in the Texas Health and Safety code as a hazardous substance

HB 170 (Left Pending in Committee)

  • Prevents the sale of vapor products to someone who is younger than 27 years of age unless valid ID is presented
  • Child resistant packaging standards
  • Addresses tobacco products on school campuses
  • Similar delivery requirements to the passed version of SB 97

HB 970 (Left Pending in Committee)

  • Prohibits the sale of nicotine products to minors via changes to the Health and Safety Code

HB 2321 (Left Pending in Committee)

  • Adds vapor products to the list of tobacco products regulated in the health and safety code
  • Addresses regulation of sale, distribution, possession, use and advertising
  • Companion Bill SB 97

Pending laws

County by County Rules and Regulations

  • Several pending county by county regulations regarding usage in areas where smoking is banned

Current laws

SB 97

  • Changed requirements for age verification in physical locations and online
  • Requires adult signature for all deliveries of electronic cigarettes and tobacco products in and out of state
  • The adult signature requirement effectively raises age to purchase vapor products to 21, since most shipping services require a signee to be 21 years of age to be classified as an adult
  • Effective since October 2015

Patchwork Vaping bans in several Localities

  • Several cities ban use in areas where tobacco is banned such as workplaces, bars and restaurants

Our view

It is clear from the several pieces of legislation left in committee by the Texas legislature in 2015 that SB97 or a bill just like it was going to manifest into law sooner rather than later. Requiring proper identification to demonstrate that you are at least 18 years of age is by no means unreasonable or irresponsible legislation, however current law disproportionately affects adults legally purchasing vapor products online and especially affects those purchasing from out of state retailers. Most shipping companies such as UPS define an adult signature as coming from an individual 21 years of age, which inadvertently raises the legal age to purchase vapor products online. It seems that for the time being Texas legislators are satisfied with the law they have successfully passed, as no new ideas have been introduced by the legislature.