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Tobacco 21 bill clears House on second try

Thursday, May 31, 2018

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Anon - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    “18 is too young to buy tobacco because the brain isn’t yet fully formed, so make it 21.”

    “We should let 16 or 17-year-olds vote … just look how smart those Florida youngsters are!”

    “We need to decriminalize certain acts because our youth can’t really understand the depths of their activities, those 25 and under should be subject to juvenile justice penalties rather than more strict adult penalties.”


  2. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    ==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.==

    Well yes, but Illinois will save millions when it pays for less people in hospitals and less sick children born to smokers. If we gotta pay anyway, let’s pay on the side of healthier people.


  3. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:30 am:

    Anon, lol. Sharks have it so much easier, lay the eggs and swim away. We humans will never agree on what makes an adult.


  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    The Chamber really argued that we should accept a little sickness and death in order to get tax revenue? I had no idea the Chamber put such a high value on tax revenue.


  5. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    On the plus side many smokers don’t live to collect a pension so that might save some money. Also some sharks have live births.


  6. - Chris Widger - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    ==The Chamber really argued that we should accept a little sickness and death in order to get tax revenue?==

    Take this argument to its end. Think of how much sickness and death we could prevent by making smoking illegal, or by making it so you need to be 40 to smoke.


  7. - Langhorne - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    Anyone under 21 will have their buddy buy cigs the same time they buy fireball.


  8. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:41 pm:

    Since people break laws all the time, it would be smart to not have any laws at all. /s


  9. - Techie - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:22 pm:

    As the first post points out, so much for consistency.

    Adults are either adults or not. If you’re old enough to sign legal contracts, how can you not be old enough to buy a legal product? This is about whether or not adults in the US are denied rights by other adults or not.

    Most of us can agree smoking cigarettes is stupid - it’s terrible for your health, and it’s expensive. But if you really want to, why is it ok for society to tell you you’re allowed, but only once you turn 21?


  10. - cc - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 5:54 pm:

    Lots of folks I know well have big problems due to smoking; but, somehow I feel that if you cannot trust an 18 year old not to smoke but same 17/18 year old can vote. And during wars an 18 year old will be drafted. I think in Il. 18 year old may legally marry and at even age 16 if their parents sign. I think there should be one legal age should be same for everything whether it is 16 or 21. Not okay to smoke but if war comes, okay to die for your country. Ugh.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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