State Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs,was joined by members of the Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council on Jan. 12 as he filed a bill that Kyle-area high school students helped inspire.
Isaacs bill, House Bill 647, would bar anyone under the age of 18 from buying e-cigarettes and similar devices in the state.
"Currently a 10-year-old can walk into a store and legally buy a device that contains some of the same harmful chemicals as a regular cigarette," Isaac said in a news release. "Nicotine is a drug regulated by the federal government, but they have failed to act in protecting our children from electronic devices that deliver nicotine, and once again it's time Texas leads. It is only common sense that we prohibit the sale and use of all nicotine-related products to minors."
The Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council, or KAYAC, last year helped write language for an ordinance that was ultimately adopted by the Kyle City Council in June. The ordinance banned the sale of e-cigarettes and related products to minors within the city limits.
Several cities in Texas have enacted similar legislation, including the cities of Borger, Cedar Park and Frisco.
Jan. 13 marks the first day of the 84th state legislative session. If the bill clears both legislative houses and is signed by the governor, the regulations could go into effect as early as this year.
Sarah Watson, who is the city of Kyles liaison to the KAYAC, said that while many other youth councils have looked into the issue of minors possessing e-cigarettes, the Kyle group was among the first to bring forth an ordinance to its city council.
A year later, the KAYACs actions could lead to the ban being enacted into state law.
I am really proud of the members for seeing it through, Watson said. It was awesome to see them work on something and see it come to fruition.
The progress of HB 647 can be followed here.