04092019CW0111rOAKBROOK TERRACE – Residents now must be 21 years old to buy tobacco products in Illinois.

State Senator Suzy Glowiak (D-Western Springs) advocated for the passage of “Tobacco 21” (House Bill 345), which raises the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, prohibiting the purchase of alternative nicotine products, electronic cigarettes and tobacco products by individuals under the age of 21. The law is now in effect.

“The dangers of smoking are well-known, but young adults still had access to tobacco products,” Glowiak said. “This new law will help stop addiction at an early age to help save lives.”

In Illinois, 34 jurisdictions have raised the age, including Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria. One of the key benefits to doing so have been documented decreases in the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, authorities recorded a drop from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease. Studies have found 90 percent of all adult smokers started when they were kids.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services it is estimated that each day approximately 2,100 youth and young adults who are occasional smokers become daily smokers.

“Stopping the cycle of addiction will protect our young adults from the numerous early and long-term negative effects of smoking such as early health disease, reductions in lung function, and growth and respiratory problems,” Glowiak said. “Raising the smoking age is a proven method to reduce smoking rates among our teens.”

This measure was supported by the DuPage County Health Department, American Lung Association in Illinois, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association along with many others.

Category: Press Releases

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