The minimum age to buy tobacco in Illinois won’t be going up to 21. The house decided not to override the governor’s veto of that bill.
The American Cancer Society was unhappy Wednesday after the Illinois House decided to not raise the tobacco minimum sale age to 21.
“We were really disappointed when the house failed to override the governors’ veto. It was definitely a missed opportunity to really impact the health of the youth in our state,” said Audrey Williams, representative of the American Cancer Society.
Williams said if the law had gone into effect, it would have affected even those under 18.
“A lot of this legislation has to do with 18 year olds buying it for younger students in the high schools. So 15, 16 , 17 year olds are also getting cigarettes and other tobacco products from their peers that are just a few grades above them,” said Williams.
A local tobacco vendor doesn’t agree with the idea of raising the age.
“I think smoking is terrible but I think they’re going to do it. No matter what age they’ll find a way. I think if you’re old enough to go to war and defend the country, I think you should be able to smoke. I actually think you should be able to drink,” said Anna Simpson, Little Grocery owner.
Williams is hopeful the outcome will be different next year.
We won’t let this stop us, we will continue on in the next legislative session and hopefully get law makers to understand the importance of this and hopefully we can pass it next year,” said Williams.
Williams also said she believes the tobacco industry is intentionally targeting young people to replace older customers who are dying.