Sandoval Tobacco 21SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) helped pass a bill Thursday raising the legal purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.

House Bill 345 was backed by the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and other health organizations, and Sandoval said he was proud to take action on behalf of Illinois' youth.

“Tobacco companies have a long track record of targeting young people, particularly in the neighborhoods I represent,” Sandoval said. “This bill will be major win in protecting teenagers from a dangerous and potentially lifelong addiction.”

Illinois would be the seventh state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. More than 300 towns across the country have also raised the age, including 24 municipalities in Illinois. Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria are a few of the cities in Illinois that have raised the age.

Raising the age to purchase tobacco has been proven to reduce the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, where the age is already 21, authorities recorded a drop in the rate of high school-aged students 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.

“We’ve already seen Tobacco 21 laws be highly effective around the country, including in my district in Chicago,” Sandoval said. “This law has the capacity to drastically improve public health throughout Illinois.”

House Bill 345 21 passed 39-16. It will now go to the governor’s desk.  

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5304

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804
708-656-2002