Steve Balich Editors Note: At 18 youn are old enough and smart enough to vote. At 18 you can be in the military. Democrats talk about voting at 16. I guess the Chicago controlled State of Illinois figured out making it illegal will open up a huge black market for cigarettes and vape. Just like the prohibition of booze it will become cool and attract more kids that may never had an inkling to smoke or vape. I never liked government getting into regulating people as to food, good & bad habits or if they want God in their lives.

We need to settle on what is the legal age to fight for our Country, smoke, drink, have a credit card, be sued personally,vote, own property, make life decisions they are individually responsible for, etc.

Tobacco 21 Bill Passes Senate, Awaits Pritzker's Approval
Gov. Pritzker is poised to sign legislation banning the sale of tobacco and vaping products to anyone under 21. (Photo via Shutterstock)

SPRINGFIELD, IL — State Sen. Julie Morrison announced Thursday that a plan to raise the age to legally purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21 has passed the Senate. The Tobacco 21 measure sponsored by Morrison, contained in House Bill 345, will now head to Governor J.B. Pritzker for his approval, and Illinois could soon join several other states that have raised the legal purchase age to 21, according to a news release from Morrison.

“Limiting the availability of tobacco products has a direct effect on smoking rates among young teenagers, especially those who are 14, 15, 16 or 17 years old,” Morrison said. “The more we limit the availability of tobacco for teens, the lower the chance they have of developing a lifetime addiction that disproportionally affects the adolescent brain and costs state government billions of dollars annually.”

If the proposal is approved by Pritzker, it would make Illinois the eighth state to pass Tobacco 21 legislation.

According to a release, more than 400 communities across the country have already raised the age, including 34 jurisdictions in Illinois.

Evanston, Bolingbrook, Willmette, Wheaton, Naperville, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Evanston, Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, and Peoria are a few of the cities in Illinois to raise the legal purchase age to 21.

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Evanston became the first Illinois city to become a Tobacco 21 community in 2014. Lake County became the first county in the state to ban tobacco sales to people aged 18 to 21 in 2017. Last year, Bolingbrook became the first “Tobacco 21” community in Will County and has since been followed by Plainfield.

Related: Under 21 Tobacco Ban To Take Effect, Come With $250 Fine

>> More key statistics

According to a release, authorities recorded a decrease in the number of high schoolers who smoke from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

This isn’t Tobacco 21’s first time seen through state officials’ eyes. After passing the Senate last April, the measure passed the House in May but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in August.

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