Illinois House Committee Puts Youth Health Above Tobacco Profits
(May 18, 2018) -
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This morning, the Illinois House of Representatives Health & Healthcare Disparities Committee voted in favor of SB2332, known as Tobacco 21, legislation that would raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21.
The American Lung Association in Illinois applauds the committee and encourages State Representatives to vote in favor of the bill when it goes to the House Floor.
“This law, if passed by the House, will have a critical impact on our residents’ health and on our state’s budget. Tobacco 21 protects children, reduces smoking rates, saves millions in healthcare costs, and most importantly, saves lives,” said Kathy Drea, vice president of advocacy for the Lung Association. “While smoking rates are declining, teen tobacco use rates are increasing at an alarming rate because of new products, kid-friendly flavors and online advertising. Tobacco 21 can help change that. We strongly encourage our elected officials to vote to pass Tobacco 21.”
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. In Evanston, the first city that passed Tobacco 21 in Illinois, the high school tobacco use rate decreased more than 37 percent after raising the minimum purchasing age to 21.
To date, five state have raised the minimum purchasing age of tobacco products to 21; California, Hawaii, Maine, 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: Lung.org.
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