Illinois to adopt “Tobacco 21” legislation after Gov. Pritzker signs bill

Gov. Pritzker signs 'Tobacco 21' bill

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois will become the first Midwest State to raise the buying age of Tobacco products to 21 after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a landmark bill on Sunday, April 7.

“Today is a milestone day for the health of our communities and especially our young people,” said Pritzker. “We are here today to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 in Illinois. This is action that’s supported by the surgeon general, the American Cancer Society, our own Illinois Department of Public Health, our local health departments, by all available research, every standing here and by common sense. For Illinois, it will reduce costs for our state, it will make our schools and communities healthier places to learn and live, and – most importantly – it will save lives. I am so proud to sign this legislation today.”

Illinois House Bill 345 covers both tobacco and vaping products including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vapes. The bill was proposed four years ago and will take effect July 1, 2019.

State senators and representatives voiced their support of the bill and its impact.

“Today represents the culmination of years of dedication and hard work from health advocates and lawmakers who were relentless in their fight to protect teen health. Raising the age has been proven to reduce smoking rates among young teenagers who are susceptible to the impact of nicotine on the brain and have a strong chance of beginning a lifelong deadly habit.”
- Sen. Julie Morrison.
“Often, we only think of the 18, 19 and 20-year-olds being affected by this law, but actually the target age group is the 14-17-year-olds. One of the points of this legislation is to remove the 18-year-old supplier from the high schools. This legislation will reduce youth tobacco use in Illinois by at least 25% over time. I thank Governor Pritzker for signing Tobacco 21 today.”
- Rep. Camille Lilly

Illinois will join Virginia as the eighth and ninth state to adopt the measure.

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