"Cigarette" by Flickr User Ron Cruz / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Democrats want to raise the legal age for smoking or chewing tobacco from 18 to 21.


State Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield and State Rep. Camille Lilly of Oak Park say it will stop teenagers from starting a deadly habit.

The "Tobacco 21" measure would prohibit consumers younger than 21 from buying tobacco-based products including e-cigarettes and other nicotine products.

Almost all smokers start before they turn 21, according to the Respiratory Health Association.

DeKalb Police Department/Facebook

DeKalb police officials say seven businesses sold tobacco to minors last week. That’s out of 27 inspected local tobacco retailers.

The compliance checks determine if businesses sell tobacco to minors.

The DeKalb police department uses minors 15 to 17 years old to see if businesses will sell tobacco to them. If those inspected businesses ended up selling tobacco to those minors, they violated a city ordinance and got an information kit about minimum-age tobacco laws.

Most lawmakers believe that tobacco companies with sugary flavors added to their products should have to quit selling them in the state.

But a recent proposal would target only flavored cigarette wrappers, not flavored cigars.