Illinois passed a statewide Tobacco 21 policy in 2019!
What is Tobacco 21?
Tobacco 21 is the raising of the minimum age of legal access to tobacco products from 18 to 21.
Why Tobacco 21?
Illinois has a near average rate of high school smoking, and above average rate of adult smoking. Given its high population, this means that 230,000 children now under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking, with 5,700 children becoming daily smokers each year. The state spends only 9% of the CDC recommended amount on tobacco prevention, this is almost a 100% increase from funding in 2016. However, this is still a low level of funding given the $5.49 billion in annual health care costs that are directly caused by smoking, and the $5.27 billion in lost productivity. The state has a modest tax per pack at $1.98, but special consideration needs to be given to the combined state-county-city tax rates in the Chicago area, where the majority of the state's population resides. The combination of these three rates results in the highest per pack tax in the nation, at $6.16.
Tobacco 21 news in Illinois
In April, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Tobacco 21 bill in Illinois. Illinois is the 11th state to adopt a Tobacco 21 law statewide.
Special acknowledgement to Aurora and Elgin who had implemented Tobacco 21 policies in Kane County prior to the statewide law.
Links & Resources
Tobacco 21 Toolkit