• Illinois raises age to legally buy tobacco to 21

    By: Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Another state has raised the age to legally buy tobacco and nicotine products to 21.

    >> Read more trending news 

    In a Sunday tweet, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced he was "proud to sign" House Bill 345, which bans the sale of cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, e-cigarettes and vaping materials to minors. 

    >> On Ilga.gov: Read the full text of the legislation here

    "Today is a milestone day for the health of our communities and especially our young people," Pritzker, a Democrat, tweeted. "Illinois is now the first state in the Midwest to enact #Tobacco21."

    He went on to say that the law, effective July 1, will make schools healthier and save lives.

    >> Read the tweets here

    The law eliminates "penalties for underage possession" but imposes fines against businesses caught selling tobacco to anyone under 21, the AP reported.

    >> On KIRO7.com: New tobacco age limit signed into law in Washington state

    Other states have passed similar laws, including Washington, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, Virginia, Arkansas, New Jersey, Hawaii, Utah and Maine, WREX-TV reported.

    Read more here or here.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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