Illinois politicians reintroduce 'Tobacco to 21 Act'
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, along with Brian Schatz (D-HI) and U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO-01) reintroducted the Tobacco to 21 Act.
The Tobacco to 21 Act is a bicameral legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.
According to a release sent by Durbin's office, studies have shown that three-quarters of Americans favor raising the tobacco age of sale to 21 years, including seven in ten smokers.
In Illinois alone, Chicago, Lake County and 10 other localities have raised the minimum age of sale to 21.
“With Big Tobacco constantly targeting our youth through new and flavored products, it’s no surprise that nearly all tobacco users began their addiction as kids or young adults,” said Durbin. “Across Illinois and the country, cities and states are fighting back with common-sense policies to shield kids from a lifetime of addiction. By raising the federal tobacco age of sale to 21, we can help prevent a new generation from tobacco-related disease, health care costs, and death.”
“Research shows that raising the minimum smoking age to 21 would save lives,” said Schatz. “In 2015, Hawai‘i became the first state to raise the age limit, and since then, four other states have joined us. This bill would bring all 50 states together, so we can protect our young people from this addiction, and save lives in the process.”
“Smoking is a deadly, addictive habit that can harm human health even in limited amounts,” said DeGette. “It is especially hazardous to developing bodies. Why on earth would we wish to expose our young people to its dangers? As federal legislators, it is our moral obligation to ensure that the law does not favor the tobacco industry over the health and safety of our nation’s youth. This bill would go a long way to keeping carcinogens out of young people’s hands – and throats, and lungs.”
For a summary of the Tobacco to 21 Act, click here.