Illinois becomes first Midwest state to adopt “Tobacco 21” bill

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Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a landmark legislation Sunday, making Illinois the first state in the Midwest to increase the minimum age of purchasing nicotine products to 21.

“Today is a milestone day for the health of our communities and especially our young people,” said Pritzker. “We are here today to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 in Illinois. This is action that’s supported bythe surgeon general, the American Cancer Society, our own Illinois Department of Public Health, our local health departments, by all available research, everyone standing here and by common sense. For Illinois, it will reduce costs for our state, it will make our schools and communities healthier places to learn and live, and – most importantly – it will save lives. I am so proud to sign this legislation today.” 

HB 345 covers both tobacco and vaping products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vapes. After four years of legislative effort and a veto by Governor Rauner, lawmakers passed the Tobacco 21 bill weeks ago. 

The bill goes in effect July 1st. Illinois and Virginia will become the 8th and 9th states to implement the  legislation. 

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