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Senator Mulroe speaks at the 10-year anniversary of the Smoke-Free Illinois ActToday marks the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which banned smoking in indoor public areas, workplaces and within 15 feet of the entrance to those facilities. Since then hospitalizations from asthma, heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have decreased by 20.5 percent.

“Passing Smoke-Free Illinois was a huge step toward making our state healthier,” Mulroe said. “Though many tobacco-related hospitalizations have been reduced, we still have a lot of work to do. In Illinois, a little over 15 percent of adults smoke, and each year and more than 18,000 Illinois residents die as a result of tobacco use. That’s why I sponsored Senate Bill 3011 last year to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21.”

By increasing the legal age of smoking in Illinois to 21, The National Institute of Medicine estimates that 25 percent fewer youths would start smoking with a 12 percent decrease in general smoking rates.

“Tobacco kills more people than AIDS and car accidents,” Mulroe said. “I think we need to reconsider how young people get started smoking and work to promote healthy choices.”

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