Take the Survey: Are You In Favor of Raising Smoking Age to 21?

Take the Survey: Are You In Favor of Raising Smoking Age to 21?

The Kane County Health Department website is informing residents on “Tobacco 21” legislation that calls for raising of the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The Health Department is supporting the state legislation and working with the Kane County Legislative Committee to voice that position to local lawmakers. The Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 3011 on Tobacco 21 by 32-22 vote on May 18, 2016.

Presently under consideration is House Bill 3208, which amends the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act in a number of ways, including raising the tobacco-purchase age to 21.

The Health Department’s primary goal at this stage is to provide information and better understand residents’ opinions on the issue.

To learn more about residents’ opinions, the Health Department is conducting an online survey:

The department’s Tobacco 21 webpage provides multiple points of view, including arguments on military age restrictions and store-owner concerns. It also includes a Tobacco 21 Toolkit and other links for more information.

Several area communities, including Naperville, Highland Park, Oak Park and the city of Chicago, have passed local Tobacco 21 ordinances, as well.

According to the Health Department webpage, Illinois has an above-national-average rate of high school smoking, and a near average rate of adult smoking.

“Given its high population, this means that 230,000 children now under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking, with 8,700 children becoming daily smokers each year,” the website says.

“The state spends only 4.5 percent of the CDC-recommended amount on tobacco prevention, despite the $5.49 billion in annual health care costs that are directly caused by smoking, and the $5.27 billion in lost productivity. The state has a modest tax per pack, but special consideration needs to be given to the combined state-county-city tax rates in the Chicago area, where the majority of the state’s population resides.

“The combination of these three rates results in the highest per pack tax in the nation: $6.16. State law contains no preemption language regarding youth access to tobacco, which provides the opportunity for a powerful prevention strategy, including the high tax rate and a tobacco age of 21.”

SOURCE: Kane County Health Department website

House Bill 3208 Summary

Amends the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act. Changes the name of the Act to the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Persons under 21 Years of Age and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act. Raises the age for whom tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products may be sold to and possessed by from at least 18 years of age to at least 21 years of age. Defines “electronic cigarette”. Repeals the Smokeless Tobacco Limitation Act. Amends various other Acts to make conforming changes.

SOURCE: State of Illinois website

Tobacco 21 News in Illinois

  • 3/15/2017 – Since filing, HB 3208 has had nine additional co-sponsors sign on
  • 2/22/2017 – HB 3208 assigned to House Consumer Protection Committee
  • 2/9/2017 – Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin introduces House Bill 3208, the bill would raise the age of sales for all tobacco products to 21; referred to House Rules Committee
  • 12/6/20146 – Naperville passes Illinois’ fifth Tobacco 21 ordinance
  • 10/12/2016 – Highland Park passes Illinois’ fourth Tobacco 21 ordinance
  • 8/1/2016 – Oak Park passes Illinois’ third Tobacco 21 ordinance
  • 5/29/2016 – Senate Bill 3011 assigned to Health and Human Services Committee
  • 5/18/2016 – Senate Bill 3011 passes Senate by 32-22 vote, on to the assembly
  • 4/5/2016 – Senate Bill 3011 passes Public Health Committee
  • 3/16/2016 – Senate Bill 3011 referred to public health committee
  • 3/16/2016 – Chicago passes state’s second Tobacco 21 ordinance
  • 2/18/2016 – Senate Bill 3011 introduced, which would raise Illinois’s tobacco sales age to 21
  • 1/12/2016 – Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduces Tobacco 21 to Chicago
  • 10/27/2014 – Evanston raises tobacco age to 21, becomes first city in state to adopt Tobacco 21

SOURCE: tobacco21 website