August 21, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate Bill 2332 from the 100th General Assembly, which would raise the age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 and eliminate the penalty for minors possessing tobacco.
Smoking is detrimental to the health of Illinoisans of all ages. It is important that we address the issues caused by tobacco use, especially since many people begin using tobacco at a young age. Unfortunately, this legislation will inhibit the choice of consumers while also not helping keep tobacco products out of the hands of youth.
Raising the age people can purchase tobacco products will push residents to buy tobacco products from non-licensed vendors or in neighboring states. Since no neighboring state has raised the age for purchasing tobacco products, local businesses and the State will see decreased revenue while public health impacts continue.
Furthermore, the existing penalty that this legislation removes for minors possessing tobacco is reasonable, provides the opportunity for education on the harmful effects of tobacco products, and is a disincentive for tobacco use. Eliminating this penalty will make it harder for communities to effectively address the public health issues connected to tobacco products.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2332, entitled “AN ACT concerning criminal law,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.