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Deadline Looms for Governor Rauner to Sign Tobacco 21 Law

(August 22, 2018) -

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
[email protected]
(312) 445-2501

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has less than one week to take action on SB2332, a law that would raise the legal sales age of tobacco products to 21. The governor can either sign or veto the law by Monday, August 27 or it will automatically become law. The Illinois State Legislature passed Tobacco 21 in May.

“Tobacco 21 was passed three months ago by our elected officials and it’s time for Governor Rauner to make it law so that it can protect our children from the harms of tobacco, reduce smoking rates, save on healthcare costs and ultimately save lives,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the American Lung Association.

“One in five high school students use tobacco products and 95 percent of smokers report starting before the age of 21. Raising the purchasing age can prevent young people from ever starting and can save teens from the death and disease associated with tobacco use. With the rise of easily concealable and fruit and candy flavored tobacco products, Tobacco 21 is important now more than ever. In addition, this law has the potential of saving each Illinois family nearly $1,000 a year over time in state and federal tax burdens associated with tobacco-related healthcare costs.”

“Governor Rauner, for our children, community health and the financial stability of our state, we urge you to sign Tobacco 21,” Drea added.

Currently, Tobacco 21 laws cover more than 4.5 million people living in 26 municipalities in Illinois. Some of the largest cities in the state have passed the law, including Chicago, Aurora, Evanston and Naperville. Additionally, six U.S. states have passed Tobacco 21; California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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