'Tobacco 21' bill moves to Pritzker's desk after Senate approval

Photo courtesy: MGN
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Updated: March 14, 2019, 1:40 p.m.

The Senate passes a bill to increase the tobacco purchasing age to 21.

The measure, known as 'Tobacco 21' bill, was approved by the House on Tuesday. It would set a minimum age to buy cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and other nicotine-based products from 18 to 21.

The Senate voted 36-19 to advance the bill. It now moves to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk to sign of veto.

If passed, Illinois will become the seventh state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21.


Updated: March 12, 2019, 4:20 p.m.

The Illinois House passes a measure to hike the tobacco purchasing age to 21.

The move contradicts previous attempts to approve the measure.

It passed 82 to 31 in a vote Tuesday. The measure now goes to the Senate.


A proposed ban on tobacco sales to those under 21 has failed in the House.

The House voted 62-45 Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the measure. But it needed 71 votes to succeed.

The legislation backed by health advocates would set a minimum age of 21 to buy cigarettes, cigars, snuff and chew, and nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes and vaping materials . The American Lung Association cites figures showing that 95 percent of long-term smokers begin the addictive habit before turning 21.

But opponents argued that 18-year-olds may vote and serve in the military. They should be able to decide whether to smoke. Critics also took aim at the lack of penalties in the proposal and that consumers on Illinois' borders would simply buy in other states.

The American Cancer Society of Illinois released this statement on the measure via Twitter​:

"We’re deeply disheartened that our representatives failed to support youth health. A tobacco 21 law would have been the next step toward reducing the harm Big Tobacco has inflicted on our communities."


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Published: Nov. 14, 2018, 3:50 p.m.

The Senate has voted to reverse the governor's veto on legislation prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to those under 21.

Deerfield Democratic Sen. Julie Morrison's proposal was OK'd 36-19. The veto override required 36 votes, so it now moves to the House.

The ban would include cigarettes and cigars, snuff and chew, e-cigarettes and vaping materials.

Morrison says smoking "is not a right or a benefit, it's an addiction."