Illinois Senate passes Tobacco 21; Bill heads to Pritzker’s desk

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The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to pass the Tobacco 21 bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.

HB 345 would raise the legal sales age of tobacco products to 21 years old in the state. The Senate voted 36-19 to pass the bill.

Currently, seven states and more than 34 municipalities in Illinois have already passed Tobacco 21 laws. Peoria passed a legislation in 2018.

Former Gov. Bruce Rauner previously vetoed the bill in 2018. On Tuesday, the House voted to advance Tobacco 21. 

The American Lung Association calls on the governor to sign Tobacco 21 because of the enormous potential impact on community health.

“Tobacco 21 has received tremendous support in both the Illinois House and Senate, so we hope that Gov. Pritzker will follow the lead of his legislators and sign this bill into law,” said Kathy Drea from the Lung Association. “After four years of advocating for Tobacco 21, we hope that this is the year that Illinois will take this huge step in improving community health. This law is proven to protect children, reduce smoking rates, save on healthcare costs and save lives. In fact, Chicago saw a 36 percent decline in the use of tobacco products among teens after passing Tobacco 21 in 2016.”

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