Until now, citizens of Illinois have had been able to buy tobacco at 18 years old. They will now have to wait three more years in order to purchase cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
The senate recently voted in favor of the new state law. Raising the legal age to purchase tobacco and its derivatives is a major aspect of the current fight against smoking. Vaping devices are not exempt from the law, as they are seen as a gateway to cigarettes.
Health arguments are behind the newly proposed law. The judge and Senator Julie Morrisson, who has seen first hand how tobacco has affected her father’s health, is arguing for better health awareness. Supported by Senator Emil Jones III, who himself is a smoker, the law is meant to deter young people from smoking.
Adolescents are capable of making their own decisions
Like any newly proposed legislation, this law has its opponents. Senator Kyle McCarter, for example, believes that young people are capable of making their own decisions. By eighteen years old, American teenagers can join the army and vote, and they should also have the right to choose whether or not to smoke cigarettes.
While the city of Chicago already adopted the law in 2016, the new legislation will be applied to the entire state of Illinois. Breaking this new law would have consequences for tobacco and e-cigarette retailers, including a large fine.
McCarter is unhappy that the new law will affect the turnover of tobacco companies. Although the goal is to discourage adolescents from smoking, it also may affect retailers, which could hurt the economy.