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Mulroe: 2019 is the year for Tobacco 21

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.”

Authorities in Chicago recorded a dramatic drop in the number of high schoolers who smoke after raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 in 2016. The rate of high school smokers has dropped from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

Mulroe is a chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 21, which awaits consideration in the Illinois Senate.

Sen. John G. Mulroe

mulroe-2014-150

10th District

Years served: 2010 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Criminal Law; Executive; Insurance (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Subcommittee on Const. Amendments.

Biography: Born July 21, 1959, in Chicago; BBA, accounting, Loyola University; J.D., Loyola University School of Law; member of Chicago and Illinois State Bar associations; full-time attorney; former assistant state's attorney and arbitrator for Cook County; certified public accountant; married (wife, Margaret), four children.

Associated Representative:
Robert Martwick
Michael P. McAuliffe