Illinois Raises Smoking Age to 21

(Kruscha / Pixabay)(Kruscha / Pixabay)

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a bill banning the sale of tobacco products to minors.

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Pritzker on Sunday signed legislation raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.

With Pritzker’s action, beginning on July 1, Illinois will join California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, Maine and Washington, D.C. in banning sales to those under 21. Included in the ban are cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes and vaping materials.

The legislation also does away with penalties for underage possession. Businesses, however, will still face fines and other sanctions for selling to underage customers.

Supporters say the law will discourage teenagers from a deadly, lifelong habit. The legislation’s opponents contended if 18-year-olds can vote and serve in the military, they should be able to decide whether to smoke.

Related stories:

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Rauner Vetoes Tobacco 21 Bill

Tobacco 21 Bill Heads to Rauner’s Desk

Starting July 1, 2016 You Must Be 21 to Buy Tobacco Products in Chicago

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