A pair of bills entered into the Illinois General Assembly will have legislators considering whether or not to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21-years-old.

HB 4297 was introduced by Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Oak Park and has garnered five co-sponsors, while SB 2332 was introduced by Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, and has signed on one co-sponsor. Both seek to change the state’s existing tobacco laws that would make 21 the minimum age to purchase tobacco and alternative tobacco products such as e-cigarettes.

The House bill has been referred to the Rules Committee, while the Senate version has been sent to the Public Health Committee.

A similar bill was introduced during the 2016 session and passed the Senate, though failed to make it to a vote in the House.

Five states have already passed such increases: Hawaii, California, New Jersey, Maine and Oregon. Several states currently have active legislation seeking to join that group, including Indiana, where a bill recently cleared its first committee hearing, as well as Washington, where the state’s attorney general is leading the push for an increase for a third consecutive session. Also seeking an increase are Florida, Arizona, New Hampshire and West Virginia.

A bill in Mississippi recently ran into a split committee vote that has hindered its progress.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.