State of Illinois Poised to Raise Legal Smoking Age to 21

State of Illinois Poised to Raise Legal Smoking Age to 21

Illinois is one step closer to joining a growing list of states that have raised the age to legally purchase tobacco to 21.

According to a news release from state Sen. Julie Morrison, the House Bill 345 passed the Senate on March 14 and will go to the governor’s desk for approval.

The measure passed the House in May but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in August.

Gov. JB Prtizker has not definitively indicated whether he will sign the legislation, which would raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes, chewing tobacco and other products containing nicotine in Illinois.

House Bill 345 would make Illinois the eighth state to pass Tobacco 21 legislation. More than 400 localities across the nation have raised the age, including 34 jurisdictions in Illinois, including Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston Naperville and Aurora.

The Aurora City Council voted on March 21 to raise the age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from age 18 to 21 by a unanimous vote.

In Chicago, authorities recorded a drop in the number of high schoolers who smoke from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017.

The Kane County Health Department has been informing residents of the issues involving Tobacco 21. Click this link to see the Health Department’s Tobacco 21 page.

To learn more about Tobacco 21 and tobacco cessation, visit KaneQuits.com.

“Limiting the availability of tobacco products has a direct effect on smoking rates among young teenagers, especially those who are 14, 15, 16 or 17 years old,” Morrison said.