Health Advocates: Tobacco Tax Increases Will Protect Young Lives

June 2, 2019

Today, the Illinois General Assembly passed a $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes sold in Illinois, establishing a $2.98-per-pack tax on cigarettes and a 15% wholesale tax on e-cigarettes. In response, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Respiratory Health Association issued the following statement:

“We’re thrilled that our lawmakers prioritized youth tobacco use this legislative session. To add to their work on Illinois’ new Tobacco 21 law, the General Assembly today made it more expensive for young people to obtain cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

“Tobacco use is the number-one preventable cause of death in our state, and regular, significant tobacco tax increases are a proven way to combat this. The new tax on cigarettes is expected to prevent 28,700 Illinois kids from becoming adults who smoke and help 48,700 Illinois adults who currently smoke quit. When you also consider the $1.56 billion in anticipated health care savings, this is a huge win for the future of our state.

“With this, fewer kids in Illinois will become addicted to tobacco before they have a chance to grow up. Our organizations are thankful for our lawmakers’ work, especially Senate President John Cullerton, and we urge the governor to sign this legislation into law quickly.”



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


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education and advocacy. The Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer, to improve the air we breathe, to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families, and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-685-4872) or visit


About Respiratory Health Association

Respiratory Health Association has been a local public health leader in Illinois since 1906. A policy leader, our organization remains committed to advancing innovative and meaningful tobacco control policies. We have been one of the state’s leading advocates for Tobacco 21 and Other Tobacco Product policies. For more information, visit

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Tracy Lytwyn
Sr. Manager, Regional Media Advocacy