Now that Governor Pat Quinn has signed House Bill 2494, there are only 11 states across the nation that don’t license those who sell tobacco products. I worked with Senate President John Cullerton to enact legislation that will track those retailers and better enforce the laws that regulate tobacco sales. We anticipate the measure will significantly cut down on retailers who cheat on tobacco taxes and retailers who cheat by selling cigarettes to minors.
When legitimate businesses follow the rules, they shouldn’t be undercut by those who don’t. Even though businesses that sell tobacco products will be charged a $75 annual fee to register, retailers didn’t oppose passage of the bill for they know they suffer a competitive disadvantage when illicit sales run rampant.
Cigarettes, like alcohol and firearms, are toxic products that cannot be sold to the young. The sales of both alcohol and firearms in Illinois already require licensing and strict regulation. Finally, we can add tobacco sales to that list.