Bill to raise tobacco sale age to 21 in Illinois heads to Governor Pritzker's desk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A prohibition on tobacco sales to those under 21 is now under Gov. J.B. Pritzker's consideration.

The Senate voted 39-16 on Thursday to impose the restrictions under legislation known as Tobacco 21.

The sponsor is Democratic Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield. Her idea is to prevent teenagers from picking up the deadly habit.

A spokesperson for Pritzker said, "The governor believes in order to help build a healthy society we have to work to prevent young people from smoking. He looks forward to reviewing the legislation to raise the smoking age."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also released a statement in support of the bill:

Chicago has been on the forefront of the nationwide Tobacco 21 movement, raising the age in 2016 for purchasing tobacco within city limits from 18 to 21. Thanks to this measure, combined with other significant steps Chicago has taken to make tobacco less accessible, affordable and attractive, teen smoking in the city has reached a record low of six percent, dropping by more than half over the last six years. Through this legislation, we can make sure all retailers in the state play by the same rules, and help our young people live longer, healthier lives.

I encourage Governor Pritzker to sign the Tobacco 21 legislation and help bring us closer to a tobacco-free generation.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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