California's legislature recently passed a bill to raise the minimum legal smoking age to 21, pending approval by the governor. If approved, California will become the second state to raise the legal limit; Hawaii did so first. Now Illinois is making the move to try to raise the age limit to 21 for smoking and purchasing tobacco products. State Senator Jon Mulroe is sponsoring the bill, hoping it will not only decrease tobacco usage by people under 21, but will also save the state money in the long run by reducing the number of people who require state-funded medical treatment for lung diseases. He states that Illinois Medicaid currently spends $2 billion per year on illnesses related to smoking. Some say that raising the age limit will have no effect as users will still find ways to purchase and obtain tobacco products, including crossing state borders to do so. Nevertheless, 131 cities in nine states have already passed legislation to raise the smoking age limit to 21.
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