An Illinois state senator has entered the Land of Lincoln into the race to become the second state to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, as State Sen. John Mulroe, D-Chicago introduced SB3011 to the legislature yesterday.

The bill, which was referred to the Senate Assignments Committee, would raise the minimum age to both purchase and possess tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, with fines starting at $50 and 25 hours of community service should someone under the age of 21 be found with a tobacco product or e-cigarette. Those fines can escalate to $200 and 50 hours of community service for a third violation in a 12 month period.

Illinois joins Oklahoma, New Jersey, Kentucky, Tennessee, Utah and Washington as states with active legislation to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21. A bill in Iowa was recently shot down by a state senate committee, while Washington’s recently hit a snag due to the effects it would have on the state’s budget.

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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.