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ISMS Supports 'Tobacco 21' Legislation to Increase Legal Age for Buying Tobacco
Posted on: 1/31/2018


According to the Illinois Coalition Against Tobacco (ICAT), 5,700 young people in Illinois start smoking every year – with 95 percent of those smokers starting before the age of 21

This week, ISMS joined Illinois lawmakers and members of ICAT at a press conference in support of newly introduced Tobacco 21 legislation ( House Bill 4297 and Senate Bill 2332). Tobacco 21 is a national effort to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. Five states have enacted this legislation and numerous cities and jurisdictions have imposed local ordinances.

ISMS President Nestor A. Ramirez, MD, MPH, was one of the speakers advocating for this legislation. "We can prevent a lot of diseases – not only cardiac and pulmonary – but also cancers in the long-term on children who start smoking at early ages," said Dr. Ramirez.


Tobacco 21 covers all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. ISMS supports this bill, as nearly all adult smokers started as kids. Imposing a barrier to access tobacco products at an early age will prevent more young people from starting to smoke, which means a reduction in future deaths, disease and health care costs.

If you have questions, contact Corey McGee at 312-853-6525 or send an email.

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