Illinois lawmakers consider raising tobacco-buying age to 21

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois legislators are reviving bills that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

The State Journal-Register reports that Democratic Sens. Julie Morrison and Michael Hastings are sponsoring the Senate bill, while Democratic Reps. Camille Lilly and Sonya Harper are sponsoring the House bill.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s spokeswoman says he “looks forward to reviewing the legislation.”

Measures to increase the legal age from 18 passed both chambers last year, but former Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed them, citing doubts that the legislation would stop teenagers from acquiring tobacco products, as well as concerns over the effect on businesses.

More than 30 Illinois communities have enacted Tobacco 21 ordinances, including Arlington Heights, Lake Zurich and Park Ridge. Morrison says that shows lawmakers that communities want such legislation in place.