Local Peoria students pressing lawmakers in hopes Pritzker will sign tobacco 21 legislation

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Legislation raising the tobacco sale age to 21 is closer to becoming a law in Illinois. Tuesday afternoon, the Illinois senate passed the law, now it’s headed to Governor Pritzker’s desk.

“This is a public health issue that’s going to make an incredible impact on youth tobacco use,” said advocate Maggie Osborne. “This is unfinished business for the Illinois legislature.”

In 2018 the legislation passed, but previous Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill.

Osborne is confident that Pritzker will now make this a reality.

“We look to [Pritzker’s] leadership that he will sign it,” said Osborne. “We have seen very positive feedback about this, as with any bills that comes to the governor’s desk he and his staff need to review it.”

A group of Peoria students are now volunteering with the American Cancer Society in hopes that the Tobacco 21 ordinance will be signed into law.

“I really do hope it gets passed, I think it will,” said high school freshman Mahek Javed. “I think that if it’s passed it will make a really big difference on the students, and motivate them not to use these products as much as they are using them.”

Javed and dozens have gained hundreds of signatures. Next week, they’ll be headed to Springfield to speak with lawmakers. In hopes that the governor will sign the bill.

“It’s prominent in our school and I think there should be something to stop it or would just progress further,” said freshman Avdhan Kandikattu.

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