SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – A bill to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21 years old passed the Illinois Senate Thursday by a vote of 39-16.
It moved through the House by an 82-31 margin on Tuesday.
Former Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a different bill that also would have raised the minimum buying age. House Bill 345 is a matching bill from the 101st Illinois General Assembly.
Critics have argued changing the purchasing age eats into their personal liberty and hurts small businesses that rely on tobacco sales for income. Rauner had said that raising the tobacco age would “inhibit the choice of consumers”.
The American Lung Association responded to the House passing the bill by encouraging other people to support it, saying HB 345 will protect children, slow down smoking rates, cut down health care costs and save lives.
Rep. Sue Scherer (D) voted in favor of the bill and Rep. Dan Caulkins (R) voted against it.
Now, the bill will be sent to Governor JB Pritzer.