Illinois raises age to legally buy tobacco to 21

Alcohol, Tobacco More Dangerous Than Many Illegal Drugs

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

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.

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"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.

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

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

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.