Bill to raise tobacco buying age clears House committee

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Photo by Graham Hughes (AP) Photo by Graham Hughes (AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- An Illinois House committee Friday approved a bill raising the tobacco purchasing age to 21.

The bill, which passed the Illinois Senate in April, now goes to the full house.

The American Lung Association in Illinois praised the measure.

"This law, if passed by the House, will have a critical impact on our residents' health and on our state's budget,” 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.”

California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon have all raised the purchasing age of tobacco products to 21.

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