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Ryan R. Bradley
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Breaking legal News: Senate Bill 3011 Would Raise Legal Smoking Age to 21


Koester & Bradley Legal NewsIn recent Illinois legal news, Senator John G. Mulroe, D-Chicago, introduced Bill 3011 to the Illinois Senate in February 2016 that would effectively raise the legal smoking age to 21. If passed, this bill will issue penalties to businesses who sell tobacco products to anyone under 21 years of age. It will also make the purchasing of, or even the possession of, cigarettes a petty offense.  Just a few years ago Illinois was the venue of the massive Cigarette Lawsuit, so the proposal is not surprising.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not, this bill also strikes out against electronic cigarettes the safety and efficacy of which are now in doubt. The proposed legislation defines electronic cigarettes as any device that heats a substance to create a vapor intended for inhalation–whether or not the substance contains nicotine. The penalty and offense would remain the same as actual tobacco products.

According to a Chicago Tribune editorial last year, 3 out of 4 Americans are in favor of raising the legal smoking age to 21. Also according to their editorial, the greatest majority of smokers agree. As many as 7 out of 10 current smokers would like this to become a reality.

Will this type of legislation work? A recent study in the Tobacco Control journal shows hope that it would. Most smokers begin smoking before they reach the age of 21. Limiting access to tobacco until that age could only help.

The draw back that has many people up in arms is that this bill once again limits the personal liberties of adults. Anyone over the age of 18 is considered an adult. This means they are tried as an adult in a court of law, and they can serve their country in war, but if this bill passes they will no longer be legally allowed to smoke in the state of Illinois. Others negate this issue by referring to the fact that the National minimum drinking age is 21 for one simple reason: to protect the health and lives of young people. This is also the aim of Senate Bill 3011.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions about what the passing of this bill might mean to you or your business or your health.

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