An Illinois Senate panel endorsed raising the age to buy tobacco to 21-years-old, in an effort the sponsor said is aimed at snuffing out teenage smoking.
The Senate Public Health Committee voted 6-2 to prohibit the sale of tobacco or related products to anyone under 21 . The current age is 18. The ban would include cigarettes, cigars, snuff and chew, and nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes or vaping materials.
Kristina Hamilton, director of health promotion for the American Lung Association in Illinois, said the proposal would prevent teenagers from forming a deadly habit. “Ninety-five percent of long-term smokers start before they turn 21,” she said. “Therefore, if a person does not start smoking before the age of 21, it is overwhelmingly likely that they never will.”