Tobacco 21 bill heads to Governor’s desk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Legislation is heading to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk that if signed would raise the age to buy tobacco products to 21.

The 39-16 vote Thursday comes less than a year after the Senate approved an identical proposal only to have it vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner. Since then, the proposal has steadily picked up support.

The bill includes tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products.

More than 30 Illinois communities have already enacted Tobacco 21 ordinances, including Arlington Heights, Lake Zurich and Park Ridge.

The measure passed the Illinois House on Tuesday on an 82-31 vote before being sent to the Senate.

The bill earned some opposition because it eliminates penalties for underage possession of cigarettes.

Lawmakers have 30 days to send the paperwork to Gov. Pritzker’s office. He then has 60 days to sign or veto it.