Gov. JB Pritzker Signs Statewide “Tobacco 21” Bill HB 345

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Governor JB Pritzker signed the “Tobacco 21” bill to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21 statewide on Sunday.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the statewide “Tobacco 21” bill into law Sunday, making Illinois the first state in the Midwest, and the eighth state in the country to implement the legislation to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 .

HB 345 covers tobacco and vaping products, and will go into effect July 1, 2019, according to a release from the governor’s office.

In 2014, Evanston was the first municipality in Illinois to raise the legal age to 21. The City of Chicago raised the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in 2016, becoming one of the first municipalities to tax e-cigarettes, ban tobacco discounts and require that clerks who ring up tobacco sales be at least 21-years-old. The Arlington Heights village board voted to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 on Monday January 7, 2019.

“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,” Pritzker said. Pritzker urged neighboring states to follow suit.

“Often, we only think of the 18, 19 and 20-year olds being affected by this law, but actually the target age group is the 14-17-year olds. One of the points of this legislation is to remove the 18-year-old supplier from the high schools,” said Rep. Camille Lilly who serves the 78th District (Franklin Park, River Grove, Elmwood Park, Oak Park).

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