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

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A bill to make it illegal for anyone under 21 to buy tobacco products is one signature away from becoming law.

The Illinois House passed the measure Thursday 39-16.  It now its on the Governor’s desk.  If Gov. Pritzker signs the bill, it’ll make Illinois the seventh state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21.

“Tobacco companies have a long track record of targeting young people,” said Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago).  “This bill will be [a] major win in protecting teenagers from a dangerous and potentially lifelong addiction.”

Sandoval says raising the age has been proven to reduce the number of high school students who smoke.  Two dozen municipalities, including Chicago, Evanston, and Peoria, already raised their minimum age to 21.

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