DuPage County Teen Advisors Join Gov. Pritzker for Signing of Tobacco 21 Bill

Mon April 8, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY-Members of Reality DuPage (Reality), the Teen Advisory Panel to the DuPage County Health Department, witnessed Governor JB Pritzker signing HB345 on Sunday, April 7. Known as Tobacco 21, the law goes into effect on July 1, 2019 and raises the minimum age to 21 to purchase all tobacco products.

Reality is a countywide panel of high school students advocating for positive change within their schools and community. Reality and the DuPage County Health Department played an important role in supporting Tobacco 21 locally before it became a state law. Students from Glenbard East, Glenbard West, Glenbard South and Benet Academy attended the event. Glenbard West graduate Maddi Bertrand was presented a pen used by the governor to sign the bill.

Research shows 95 percent of adult smokers begin before age 21, which means those who do not begin smoking before 21 are less likely to start later. Tobacco 21 laws are proven to be effective in reducing youth tobacco initiation, leading to better public health outcomes.

The DuPage County Health Department considers tobacco use to be a significant public health concern, and in December 2017 recommended a resolution by the DuPage County Board of Health supporting Tobacco 21.

Illinois is the 10th state in the U.S and first in the Midwest to prohibit the sale of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to persons under the age of 21.

Reality is open to any high school student in DuPage County and meets monthly during the school year and weekly during the summer. The next meeting will be held April 15 at 6 p.m. at Glenbard District 87 Administrative Center, 596 Crescent Blvd. Glen Ellyn. For more information, contact Student and Community Projects Coordinator Gilda Ross at (630) 942-7668.

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