SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – March 12, 2019 – Today, the Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill to raise the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 years old. It now moves to the State Senate for further consideration. In response, Shana Crews, Illinois government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, issued the following statement:
“It’s great to see that, despite Governor Rauner’s veto last session, our state representatives have recommitted to protecting young people from the known dangers of tobacco.
“Tobacco companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars marketing their products in Illinois, luring our kids to start smoking and undoing the progress we’ve made in cutting youth tobacco use. But Tobacco 21 helps combat that influence, keeping young people from picking up a cigarette before they even have a chance to grow up. And studies have shown that if someone doesn’t start smoking before age 21, they’re much less likely to start later in life.
“The longer we wait to get serious about tobacco, the more the tobacco industry makes inroads in our communities. We urge the Senate to follow through on last year’s commitment and pass Tobacco 21.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.