Illinois legislators are taking an important step forward to raise the minimum legal age of tobacco sales from 18 to 21. Following the success of city ordinances in Illinois cities like Chicago, Evanston, Naperville and Oak Park, Representative Melissa Conyears-Ervin introduced House Bill 3208 to the 2017 Illinois General Assembly to make this a statewide policy.
The bill amends the existing Prevention of Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act and addresses electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products that are popular among teenagers.
As of 2017, at least 135 localities in nine states have enacted ordinances or issued regulations raising the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to enact such a law, and California followed suit in May 2016.
Raising the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21 will dramatically reduce tobacco use for young adults and decrease the likelihood that they will become lifelong smokers. Oral Health America supports Tobacco 21 legislation across our nation in order to keep our teens and young adults healthy and tobacco free.
See how you can get involved to support Tobacco 21 legislation in your state.