New Act Raises Age of Buying/Selling Tobacco Products to 21

July 19, 2019

On July 1, Illinois officially raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco and nicotine from 18 to 21. Back in April, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB345, also known as “Tobacco 21,” into law, making Illinois the 11th state to adopt the statewide law, and the first state in the Midwest to do so.

Tobacco 21 effectively prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from buying or selling tobacco in any form and prohibits selling or furnishing tobacco in any form to anyone under the age of 21. The new law also now prohibits the sale of tobacco products including electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to people under the age of 21.

The Act requires all retailers of tobacco to verify that a person is at least 21 years of age by checking any person’s identification if they appear to be under the age of 30. Any vendor who sells tobacco or nicotine products through any remote sales method, are required to use a third-party verification service to compare public records to personal information entered by the person during the ordering process. Retailers that have multiple violations within a 24-month period are required to engage in a training program that assists obedience with the new tobacco laws. This training program explains the importance of verifying that the buyer is at least 21 years of age and the program must explain where a clerk can check identification for a date of birth. Retailers may also be subject to a fine.

For more information on how Tobacco 21 may affect your business, or if your business is cited for a violation of the new law, contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.