SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Legislation has been introduced in the Illinois Senate to raise the age to purchase tobacco products in the state from 18 to 21.
Democratic state Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago says he hopes the bill he’s sponsoring will decrease the number of young people who start smoking. But the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says those affected by the change would find other ways to obtain tobacco products.
A study by the Institute of Medicine estimated that raising the age to 21 would lead to a 25 percent reduction in smoking among 15- to 17-year-olds and a 15 percent reduction among 18- to 20-year-olds.
The State Journal-Register reports that other research suggests that restricting minors’ access to cigarettes may have little to no effect.
The bill is assigned to Senate’s Public Health Committee.