Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Sunday that will raise the legal age for purchasing cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21 statewide.
"For Illinois, it will reduce costs for our state, it will make our schools and communities healthier places to learn and live, and -- most importantly -- it will save lives," Pritzker said in a statement.
Public health advocates have been trying for years to raise the legal age in Illinois, arguing that people are less likely to become smokers if they haven't started by the time the turn 21. Lawmakers approved the bill last monthfor the second time in as many years after then-Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed an earlier version last year.
When the law takes effect July 1, Illinois will join seven other states that have raised the smoking age to 21: California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Virginia.