Illinois Senate advances ban on those under 21 buying tobacco

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois senate committee has endorsed raising the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.

The Senate Public Health Committee voted 6-2 Tuesday to send the measure to the floor.

The plan would prohibit tobacco purchase by anyone under 21. It would include e-cigarettes vaping products. Underage possession would not be penalized.

Democratic Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield is the sponsor. She says it will prevent teenagers from forming an addictive and deadly habit.

Opponents say that the measure will hurt small businesses and convenience stores. They argue it will just drive consumers to neighboring states.

And they say not penalizing underage possession sends the wrong message.

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