SAN ANTONIO — The Texas House voted in support of a measure to raise the age limit for purchasing tobacco to 21, with exceptions for military personnel over 18. It wouldn't change much within San Antonio city limits, however—the city already enacted a "Tobacco 21 ordinance," which took effect in October 2018.
Councilwoman Ana Sandoval supported the ordinance in San Antonio, and says that a similar adoption of the rule by the state will likely impact San Antonio by enforcing a change in surrounding cities.
"I think it makes our ordinance and our move stronger, because now the surrounding cities will be participating in that," Sandoval said.
Opponents of the ordinance argue it should be up to individuals to decide whether they choose to smoke between the ages of 18 and 21.
Jackie Walji of Mellow Monkey smoke shop on Bandera Road said they made the required changes and haven't had much trouble doing so. She says while San Antonio's ordinance did not affect her business substantially, it may have impacted other local smoke shops.
"I haven’t personally (seen any effects) as far as business-wise; we just had a handful of people that were in that 18 to 20 category," she said. "I know other stories maybe have thrived on that category, so I know they probably had a bigger impact than we did, but we really didn’t see a big increase or decrease as far as that age category."
She said the shop followed the rules in terms of putting up signs and informing their customers on social media, and they plan to continue keeping people aware when rules change.