hand holding cigarette smoking

Illinois raises age to buy nicotine products from 18 to 21

Minors will be prohibited from purchasing tobacco and paraphernalia beginning July 1, 2019.

April 08, 2019 - 2:21 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFTK) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker recently signed into law HB 345, which bans the sale of tobacco and related products to those under the age of 21. Illinois is the first state in the Midwest to adopt “Tobacco 21.”

On July 1, Illinois and Virginia will become the eighth and ninth states in the union to enact such statutes. California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon have also previously increased their age requirements for tobacco purchases.

The law covers both tobacco and vaping products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vapes.

“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," Pritzker said in a statement Sunday.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Camille Lilly (D- Oak Park) said, "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. This legislation will reduce youth tobacco use in Illinois by at least 25% over time.”

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