Illinois is now the first state in the midwest to raise the legal age of buying tobacco. While Governor J.B. Pritzker says it will be an improvement for the health of Illinoisans, some are questioning the decision.
Hope Skiles, a Casey’s General Store manager in Paris, says she often sees customers between the age of 18 and 21 purchase tobacco products from her store.
“They’re like every transaction probably,” Skiles said.
Effective July 1st, this will no longer be legal after Pritzker signed a bill raising the legal age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. It’s a decision that skiles thinks won’t be as effective as planned, especially for the Paris area.
“Being here, we’re like right on the edge of Illinois and Indiana, I don’t think it’s going change much because they’re just going to go to Indiana and buy them,” Skiles said.
Skiles isn’t the only one concerned about the upcoming law. Paris resident Kellie Washburn says she doesn’t agree with the new tobacco age.
“18 has been the legal age limit since i was little and i feel that it will cause more problems,” Washburn said.
Washburn says if you are old enough to join the military, then you should be old enough to use a tobacco product.
“Our servicemen, they’re 18, they have a right. They’re fighting for our country,” Qashburn said.
The law will apply to tobacco, vaping products, and e-cigarettes.
There is no punishment for posesssing tobacco under the age of 21 but stores could be fined if they sell to underage customers.