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Possible age change in Tobacco purchases stirring a debate for many

PEORIA, Ill - Right now in the state of Illinois if you’re 18 or older you can walk into any store and purchase things like cigarettes or vapors but lawmakers in Springfield are looking to make a change to that.

Health groups across the state have been debating a possible change in tobacco purchases.

This would increase the purchasing age from 18 to 21.

Advocates believe 18 years old have more friends in their circle under 18 compared someone 21.

“Right now we’re seeing where the 18-year-old's and 19-year-old's are purchasing the tobacco products for the younger students,” said American Cancer Society member Ken Webster.

This law however would still decriminalize the possession of tobacco for anyone under 21.

Ultimately the hope is that this change will close the window of opportunity for people under 18 to obtain tobacco products.

“We know with this increase in age will eliminate that particular bridge,” continued Webster.

But some say this will backfire on the state.

When asked how she felt about this possible change Peoria resident Lorraine Harvey said, “This is could really cut their throat.”

For teens across the country tobacco use has been on a major decline, and with many more states across the country legalizing marijuana this law could make a major difference in possible revenue.

“They’re not gonna be able to buy their cigarillos or their little pipes or whatever they need to smoke their marijuana with,” Harvey continued. “That is a lot of revenue that the state of Illinois will lose.”

Some also believe this change wont make a difference regardless for teens.

Harvey said, “The drinking age is 21, kids find their way to do it and their gonna find a way to do it.”

Lawmakers have been debating this change for quite some time and this debate could become a reality for Illinoisans soon.

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