Sandoval Cigs crop2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) helped pass a bill this week raising the legal purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 years.

The bill, Senate Bill 2332, was backed by the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and other health organizations, and Sandoval said he was proud to take action on behalf of Illinois' youth.

"The younger you are when you start smoking, the likelier you are to get addicted," Sandoval said. "By increasing the age from 18 to 21 we decrease the likelihood of addiction, which is good for our state on many levels."

SB2332 still needs to be approved by the House and signed by the governor before it becomes law, but it would make Illinois the sixth state in the nation to adopt 21 years of age as the limit for tobacco purchasing.

More than 300 towns across the country have also raised the age, including 24 municipalities in Illinois. Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria are a few of the cities in Illinois that have raised the age.

Raising the age to purchase tobacco has been proven to reduce the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, where the age is already 21, authorities recorded a drop in the rate of high school-aged students who smoke from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease.

"The tobacco companies target kids in the neighborhoods I represent, and they want to get them started young so they will be smokers forever," Sandoval said. "This bill is a big step toward protecting my constituents."

Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
111 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
5807 W. 35th Street
Cicero, IL 60804