Illinois House Passes Bill to
Raise Tobacco Sales Age to 21
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[March 13, 2019]
Today, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 82-31 to advance
House Bill 345, nicknamed Tobacco 21, which would raise the legal
sales age of tobacco products to 21 in Illinois. The bill will now
go to the Illinois State Senate for a vote.
Last year, Illinois legislators passed a Tobacco 21 bill, but
unfortunately it was vetoed by former Governor Bruce Rauner. On
February 19, the Illinois House of Representatives Health Care
Availability and Accessibility Committee passed Tobacco 21.
The American Lung Association encourages legislators to again
support this law, which is vital to our state’s health.
“Research shows that Tobacco 21 laws can make a tremendous impact on
the health of our communities as well as reduce healthcare costs
from tobacco related diseases,” said Kathy Drea from the Lung
Association. “This law is proven to protect children, reduce smoking
rates, save on healthcare costs and save lives. In fact, Chicago saw
a 36 percent decline in the use of tobacco products among teens
after passing Tobacco 21 in 2016.”
The need for Illinois to take action to protect youth from tobacco
is more urgent than ever. Nationally, youth e-cigarette use has
reached epidemic levels due to a 78 percent increase in high school
e-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco
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This has caused the U.S. Surgeon General to declare e-cigarette use among young
people an epidemic in an Advisory issued in December 2018.
“Thank you to our House Representatives for taking a vital step in improving the
health of our citizens, and protecting our youth from the death and disease
associated with tobacco use. We encourage the State Senate and Governor J.B.
Pritker to also support this important legislation,” Drea added.
Currently, seven states and more than 34 municipalities in Illinois have already
passed Tobacco 21 laws.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives
by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research,
education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on
four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we
breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families;
and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information
about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise
Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA
(1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
Division Manager | Communications | Western
American Lung Association]