GRAYVILLE, IL (WFIE) - Starting this summer, the smoking age in Illinois will match the drinking age.
Sunday, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker, signed the law raising the state’s legal smoking age to 21.
“When you’re 18 you’re allowed to vote so I guess people could use that as a big factor saying, well, if I’m allowed to vote, why can’t I buy cigarettes?” said Sidney Foster.
“It is their choice so if they’re choosing to do that to themselves and their body then there’s nothing you can really do,” said Macy Knight.
Young people around Grayville have mixed opinions.
“I think they should raise the smoking age limit just do to kids and it just gets you on a bad start,” said Tristain Kleinschmidt.
“Some people are just going to find other ways but if we don’t at least try, you know to do something about it, it might actually help in like a few more years, but we just need to get it started now,” said Knight.
The new law gets rid of penalties for teens caught with tobacco products, and puts the pressure on stores, giving hefty fines if caught selling to anyone under 21.
But, gas station clerks and managers within Grayville say the change won’t affect their sales.
Supporters hope the raised smoking age law will discourage teenagers from starting a deadly, lifelong habit.
This new law now only raises the smoking age in Illinois...
Starting in July you also must be 21 to buy chewing tobacco, nicotine-based products, and vaping materials.