CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Sunday that raises the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.
With Pritzker's action, beginning on July 1, Illinois will join California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, Hawaii, Maine and Washington, D.C. in banning sales to those under 21. Included in the ban are cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes and vaping materials.
The legislation also does away with penalties for underage possession. Businesses, however, will still face fines and other sanctions for selling to underage customers.
Supporters say the law will discourage teenagers from a deadly, lifelong habit. The legislation’s opponents contended if 18-year-olds can vote and serve in the military, they should be able to decide whether to smoke.