Gov. Rauner Blunders Opportunity to Make Public Health History

August 24, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Aug. 24, 2018 – Today, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill to raise the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 years old. In response, Shana Crews, Illinois government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, issued the following statement:

“Today could have been a historic day for Illinois. The General Assembly gave Governor Rauner the opportunity to put the health of our children ahead of the interests and profits of Big Tobacco. Unfortunately, Governor Rauner chose to side with the tobacco industry and halt Illinois’ public health progress.

“For decades, Illinois has made great strides in tobacco control, and this law would have been another promising step toward eliminating tobacco’s burden on our communities. ‘Tobacco 21’ laws give kids fewer opportunities to access tobacco products through older friends and siblings, making them less likely to ever develop an addiction. That means fewer lives lost to tobacco-related cancers and other illnesses, and more young people leading full and healthy lives.

“This fight is not over. While today’s action is an unfortunate and unnecessary setback, our advocates will continue their work to give the next generation of Illinois kids a healthier future.”


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