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.
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.