McConchie opposes HB 345, arguing that raising the legal tobacco age draws 'arbitrary lines for 21'
Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Lake Zurich) opposed a bill that passed the Senate last week, raising the legal purchasing age of tobacco products to 21.
House Bill 345 also decriminalizes tobacco possession for individuals under 21, which is the main reason many Senate and House Republicans opposed it. Others, like McConchie, disagree with the bill because 18-year-olds are considered adults.
"We have discussed this extensively and I’d just reiterate points we’ve made in committee and previous debate," McConchie said. "It’s true you can join the military when you’re 18. The military is an employer. They’re only doing that for those they choose to employ. We should not be drawing arbitrary lines."
McConchie said at 18 individuals can enter contracts, get married and many other things.
"We do not draw arbitrary lines for 21, it's only alcohol and firearms at 21," McConchie said. "If you’re wise enough to choose who to vote for, you’re wise enough to determine whether or not to choose to smoke. Because of that, I encourage a No vote."