* The proponents regrouped after they came up short Tuesday and worked extremely hard to flip the votes. Man, did they ever scurry. It was quite something to behold. Senate President John Cullerton, who has been an anti-tobacco advocate for decades, also personally lobbied House members. Speaker Madigan did not vote either way on the bill the first time around, but he voted “Yes” yesterday and that seemed to help as well…
The Illinois House has voted to bar tobacco sales to those under age 21 a day after the legislation fell four votes short.
Chicago Democratic Rep. Camille Lilly’s plan would prohibit sales of tobacco products to minors. The ban would include e-cigarettes and vaping materials.
It was approved 61-49 and goes to the governor for action.
* NPR Illinois…
This comes more than a decade after state lawmakers banned smoking in most public places. Since then, cigarette prices have risen and public opinion on smoking has gone from bad to worse. Health advocates and even the military lobbied to raise the smoking age, arguing generations of teens have developed bad habits. In doing so, they say, those teens are now under-prepared for careers in the military.
While many Republicans rejected the move, Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) broke ranks.
“This is a vote I’m making on my own personal beliefs,” he told the House chamber during debate. “If we can take steps to make a healthier Illinois, I think we should do it.”
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce says Illinois could stand to lose millions of dollars in tax revenue. Other opponents echoed those sentiments, arguing a higher minimum age would send buyers — and their sales tax money — to surrounding states.
The bill is here.