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Mulroe won’t quit stopping smoking - UPDATED

mulroe 051216SPRINGFIELD – The Senate took another vote today on a measure that would raise the legal smoking age to 21. The measure’s sponsor, John Mulroe (D-Chicago), believes that the timing is right to take up the issue. After not receiving enough votes a week ago, the Tobacco 21 bill passed today.

“It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing,” Mulroe said on the floor, following derisive opposition. “ California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, along with the city of Chicago have already passed similar measures. There’s no reason we shouldn’t take this stand for Illinois youth.”

The proposal was an initiative of the American Lung Association. Despite well-cited facts that cigarettes cause cancer and a painful, eventual death, a myriad concerns were raised. Among them, the fact that someone can enlist in the military at 18, the fact that there was not strong enough criminal penalties and that the legislation bordered on making Illinois more of a “nanny state.”

“Smoking kills, and if we can come together to stop kids from starting smoking, why would we not take that opportunity?” Mulroe asked. “This is a serious issue that needs further debate, but I won’t stop fighting to protect the health and safety of young people in this state.”

 

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