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Illinois lawmakers consider raising tobacco-buying age to 21

January 28, 2019

Illinois legislators are reviving bills that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

Democratic Sens. Julie Morrison and Michael Hastings are sponsoring the Senate bill, while Democratic Reps. Camille Lilly and Sonya Harper are sponsoring the House bill, the State Journal-Register reported.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker's spokeswoman says he "looks forward to reviewing the legislation."

Measures to increase the legal age from 18 passed both chambers last year, but former Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed them, citing doubts that the legislation would stop teenagers from acquiring tobacco products, as well as concerns over the effect on businesses, especially along borders states like Indiana, where the legal age for tobacco is 18.

Indiana has considered similar bills in recent years.

More than 30 Illinois communities have enacted Tobacco 21 ordinances, including Arlington Heights, Lake Zurich and Park Ridge. Morrison says that shows lawmakers that communities want such legislation in place.

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