State Senate OKs raising smoking to those under 21

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate has voted to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.

The Senate voted 35-20 Wednesday to ban under-21 sales of tobacco or tobacco related products. The ban includes any nicotine-based products such as e-cigarettes or vaping materials.

Sen. Julie Morrison is the sponsor of the plan. The Deerfield Democrat says the risk of smoking addiction is more likely the younger a smoker is.

Sen. Kyle McCarter opposed the plan. The Republican from Lebanon in southern Illinois says that if 18-year-olds can join the military, they have the right to smoke a cigarette.

Five states and 14 Illinois cities and counties, including Chicago, have already adopted local ordinances setting the age at 21.

The bill goes to the House.

–Associated Press

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