Measure To Raise Tobacco Purchase Age Clears Hurdle

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SPRINGFIELD----Illinois lawmakers are giving initial approval to a measure that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

A Senate committee approved the measure on a 6-3 vote.

The sponsor of the bill is Democratic Senator John Mulroe. He told colleagues about studies that show young people who don't smoke until they are at least 21 years old are less likely to pick up the habit.

The bill now goes to the full chamber for consideration. A similar proposal is awaiting the signature of Governor Jerry Brown of California. Last year, Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to raise the smoking age to 21.

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