Supporters of a bill to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco and tobacco alternatives products in Illinois had their hopes dashed yesterday when the state House of Representatives defeated a bill that had already passed the state Senate.
SB 2332 had its third reading postponed on Tuesday, and while that might not seem like much, the House only has until May 31 to pass legislation, and with a list of other bills to get to, a postponement means it will almost certainly not come back up for discussion, although the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago), can still call for another vote before the deadline.
While no vote tally has been posted on the state’s website, a report from the Associated Press indicates that the bill came up four votes short in garnering enough support to pass, while a report from WTAX.com indicates the bill fell six votes short.
Illinois has become a relative hotbed of success for the Tobacco 21 movement in recent years, as Chicago passed the increase in March 2016, and has been joined by more than a dozen other cities.
To date, five states have raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old: California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon. Several additional states have tried this year, with Massachusetts the most likely to do so, as that state’s House of Representatives has already passed the increase, with the Senate considering it and the governor indicating his support for it.
Update (May 31, 2018) — The day after this article was published, the Illinois House of Representatives voted on and approved the age increase.