Tobacco 21

  • mulroe 040819SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) released the following statement the day after Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation raising the smoking age in Illinois to 21:

    “When I originally introduced Tobacco 21 legislation several years ago, it was met with a lot of resistance. After years of building support and talking with the public, it’s gratifying to see my colleagues in the General Assembly and Gov. Pritzker commit to reducing smoking in Illinois.

    “The harmful effects of tobacco are well-documented enough that we know a reduction in smoking translates pretty directly to a reduction in health problems over a long period of time. We also know that addiction tends to set in at an early age. By raising the smoking age, we’re heading off these chronic health problems before they start.”

    The smoking age in Illinois will become 21 on July 1.

  • glowiak 021419WESTERN SPRINGS – Illinois will join other states in raising the smoking age to 21 after the governor signed legislation supported by State Senator Suzy Glowiak on Sunday.

    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 health risks of smoking are well known, but young adults still have access to tobacco products,” Glowiak said. “This new law will help stop this dangerous addiction at an early age. It is absolutely imperative that we take every necessary step to help save lives.”

    Glowiak cited studies that found 90 percent of all adult smokers started when they were kids.

    In Illinois, 34 jurisdictions have raised the age, including Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria.

    A key benefit to raising the age is 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.

    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 age is a proven method to reduce smoking rates among our teens who can be easily addicted to the negative effects of nicotine and are susceptible to beginning a deadly lifelong dependency.”

    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.

    On Sunday, Illinois become the first Midwest state to adopt Tobacco 21, joining states such as California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii and Maine. The new law goes into effect July 1, 2019.

  • tobacco 21

  • Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Senate voted to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old today, with the measure now awaiting the governor’s signature to become law.

    State Senator Ram Villivalam helped pass House Bill 345, prohibiting the purchase or possession of alternative nicotine products, electronic cigarettes and tobacco products by individuals under the age of 21.

    “Just last week, a constituent shared with me that she lost her father to smoking-related illness when he was only 40 years old, leaving behind his wife, seven children and a baby on the way,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “She urged me to take action to prevent others from facing the same fate and I'm proud of the fact that today the State Senate took the necessary action.”

    According to the American Lung Association, underage smokers’ primary source of cigarettes is their 18- to 20-year-old peers. The Association believes that increasing the legal age of sale of tobacco would virtually eliminate the ability for high school students to purchase and share products with younger children.
    “It is our duty to encourage healthy habits among our youth,” Villivalam said. “Tobacco is an addictive and lethal substance that alongside alcohol and firearms should be restricted to those who are 21 and over.”

    Additionally, the Association believes that raising the age would reduce smoking among 15-17 year olds by 25 percent and among 18- to 20-year-olds by 15 percent. Overall, the Association believes raising the age will result in fewer long-term smokers, reducing overall smoking rates by 12 percent.

    If signed, the measure would take effect July 1, 2019.

  • morrison 031419

  • jjc 031419SPRINGFIELD — Hoping a new governor results in a better outcome, the Illinois Senate overwhelmingly approved raising to 21 the legal age to buy cigarettes and alternative nicotine products, clearing the way for the proposal to go to Gov. JB Pritzker and become state law.

    The 39-16 vote Thursday comes less than a year after the Senate approved an identical proposal only to have it vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner. Since then, the proposal has steadily picked up support.

  • State Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) joins with her colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in Springfield this afternoon in support of Tobacco 21. The measure passed the Senate Public Health Committee and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) joined her colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in the Capitol this afternoon to announce a renewed effort to combat teen smoking by raising the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    Today’s press conference comes after a recent study by the American Lung Association that highlights Illinois’ failure to do enough to cut down on tobacco and e-cigarette use.

    “Illinois has a real opportunity to make a major impact to bring down smoking rates among teenagers,” Morrison said. “Tobacco 21 will reduce access in our young populations, bring down overall smoking rates over time and save the state millions in health care costs.”

    Morrison sponsored an identical proposal last year that was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner despite passing on a bipartisan vote in both the Senate and the House.

    Meanwhile, municipalities and local governments across the state have stepped up and enacted their own Tobacco 21 laws. Suburban Arlington Heights became the latest municipality to institute Tobacco 21 on Jan. 7. Thirty-four Illinois communities and six states have already raised the age to purchase tobacco to 21.

    “With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association.

    Morrison’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 21, was introduced on Jan. 9 and passed the Senate Public Health Committee this afternoon on a 8-4 vote. The measure now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • Sen. John G. MulroeSPRINGFIELD – Calling for his colleagues to join an effort that will save lives and money, State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) spoke to reporters at the Capitol today to introduce a plan to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco in the state of Illinois to 21.

    Mulroe was the original sponsor of the effort, which for the past four years has been debated in Springfield. The General Assembly passed a measure last year, only for then-Gov. Bruce Rauner to veto it.

    “Persistence pays off,” Mulroe said. “This shows that our stumbles haven’t affected our commitment to making this the law. Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 will save lives, but it will also save money. Young people will spend less money on packs of cigarettes, and the state will spend less money mitigating the harmful health effects of tobacco. Currently, the state spends approximately $1.9 billion on health care costs related to tobacco usage.”

  • murphy 041118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Murphy joined 35 Senate colleagues Wednesday in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a bill that raises the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21 years.

    Senate Bill 2332 passed through both houses of the General Assembly in May, but was vetoed by the governor in August. The bill, popularly known as “Tobacco 21”, aims to help reduce the number of underage smokers and increase the overall health of people in Illinois by preventing anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 from purchasing or possessing tobacco problems.

    “Smoking is one of the worst habits for young people to pick up,” said Murphy, a Des Plaines Democrat. “The goal of this bill is to prevent and delay the onset of smoking.  Studies have proven that if you can delay cigarette smoking until 21, you are likely to prevent young people from ever starting. Elk Grove Village and Hoffman Estates, two municipalities within my district, have already passed similar local measures and have seen promising results. I’m proud to have helped override this veto to make this law consistent throughout the entire state.”

    The motion to override now moves over to the House of Representatives, where 71 votes in favor are required. Should it pass, the bill will become law and will be effective on January 1, 2019.

  • link 040618SPRINGFIELD – A longtime champion of stricter tobacco legislation, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) moved today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old.

    “For the first time in years, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise,” Link said. “Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 will cut down on access for teenagers and curb the next generation of adult smokers.”

    It has been more than 10 years since Link’s Smoke Free Illinois legislation banning smoking in most public places went in to effect. Since Smoke Free Illinois, there has been a 20 percent decrease in hospitalization of various smoking-related diseases. But with the advent of e-cigarettes, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise for the first time in years.

    “Smoke Free Illinois was a major step forward in improving the health of our residents and making Illinois a better place to live,” Link said. “Tobacco 21 builds on those efforts and moves us one step closer to a healthier, smoke-free Illinois.”

    Limiting access to cigarettes has proven effective in reducing the rate of tobacco use among teens. In October 2014, Evanston became the first Illinois community to adopt Tobacco 21. Since then, tobacco use among high schoolers has dropped by 37.5 percent.

  • cunningham 052418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would increase the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    “Big tobacco has a long track record of targeting young people to sell their products,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This legislation demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of Illinois teenagers by limiting their access to tobacco and preventing lifelong addiction from developing.”

    The bill would make Illinois the sixth state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. More than 300 municipalities across the United States have adopted Tobacco 21, including 24 communities in Illinois.

    Raising the tobacco purchasing age has been proven to reduce the number of high school students who use tobacco products. In Chicago, where Tobacco 21 is currently in effect, the high school smoking rate dropped from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017.

    The Senate voted 36 to 19 to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2332.

  • harmon 041118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of legislation raising the age to legally buy tobacco products to 21:

    “We took a step today that we know, based on evidence from other states and communities in our own states, will reduce the rates of smoking among high school students.

    “The dangers of cigarettes have been well-known for decades, and teens are even more at risk with the increasing popularity of vaping products.

    “This is legislation that could prevent teenagers and young adults from ever picking up a cigarette, which could literally save their lives.”

  • morrison 042518

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) led the Senate today in overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a proposal to increase the age to legally buy tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

    “Raising the age has been proven to eliminate the availability of tobacco for teens that are 14, 15, 16 and 17 years old,” Morrison said. “Since most current smokers started when they were teens, it is vital we work to cut off that supply and prevent the development of a deadly, lifetime habit.”

    Morrison introduced Senate Bill 2332 in January and teamed with health care advocates and local Lake County students to increase support among lawmakers for the proposal. After passing the Senate in April, the measure passed the House in May but was vetoed by Gov. Rauner in August. 

    “With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever—protecting children, reducing smoking rates, saving lives, and reducing healthcare costs,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association.

    A key benefit to raising the age is 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.

    Illinois would join six other states that have raised the age to purchase tobacco, including California, Oregon, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine. In Illinois, more than 20 municipalities have raised the age, including Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and downstate Peoria.

    Today’s override passed on a 36-19 vote and now heads to the Illinois House for consideration.

  • morrison 042518

  • morrison 020618

  • link 020217SPRINGFIELD – With tobacco use on the rise among teens for the first time in years, Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) is sponsoring a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old.

    “Smoke Free Illinois was a major step forward in improving the health of Illinoisans and making our state a better place to live,” Link said. “Tobacco 21 builds on that effort by reducing the number of teen smokers and curbing the next generation of adult smokers, moving us one step closer to a healthier, smoke-free Illinois.”

    It has been more than 10 years since Link’s Smoke Free Illinois legislation banning smoking in most public places went in to effect. Since Smoke Free Illinois, there has been a 20 percent decrease in hospitalization of various smoking-related diseases. But with the advent of e-cigarettes, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise for the first time in years.

    “More than 90 percent of smokers start before the age of 21,” Link said. “We must do everything possible to curb teen use and protect the lives of adolescent Illinoisans. Tobacco 21 will help us do that.”

    Limiting access to cigarettes has proven effective in reducing the rate of tobacco use among teens. In October 2014, Evanston became the first Illinois community to adopt Tobacco 21. Since then, tobacco use among high schoolers has dropped by 37.5 percent.

  • Tobacco 21 Press Conference

  • 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.”

  • Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) continues to argue in favor of raising the smoking age to 21.


  • Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) introduces SB3011 and speaks to the importance of raising the legal smoking age to 21.