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  Just the Facts
    JUST THE FACTS . . .
    ILLINOIS TOBACCO MINIMUM-AGE & SIGNAGE LAWS

In addition to the state laws referenced below, many municipal and county governments have established local laws pertaining to the sale of tobacco products including licensure, signage, and local penalties for illegal underage tobacco sales. This may include fines, local license suspension or revocation. Retailers should check with their local officials to request this information.
Illinois laws regulate the distribution, sale and taxation of tobacco products and establish penalties for violations. Within these laws are provisions prohibiting the sale and purchase of tobacco products, smokeless tobacco, tobacco accessories and smoking herbs to persons under the age of 18. Illinois minimum-age laws are summarized below.

Sale of Tobacco To Minors Act (720 ILCS 675/1)
No minor under 18 years of age shall buy any cigar, cigarette, smokeless tobacco or tobacco in any of its forms. No person shall sell, buy for, distribute samples of or furnish any cigar, cigarette, smokeless tobacco or tobacco in any of its forms, to any minor under 18 years of age. For the purpose of this section, "smokeless tobacco" means any tobacco products that are suitable for dipping or chewing. Tobacco products listed above may be sold through a vending machine only in the following locations:
  1. Factories, businesses, offices, private clubs and other places not open to the general public.
  2. Places to which minors under 18 years of age are not permitted access.
  3. Places where alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed on the premises.
  4. Places where the vending machine is under the direct supervision of the owner of the establishment or an employee over 18 years of age. The sale of tobacco products from a vending machine under the direct supervision of the owner or an employee of the establishment is considered a sale of tobacco products by that person. As used in this subdivision, "direct supervision" means the owner or employee has an unimpeded line of sight to the vending machine.
  5. Places where the vending machine can only be operated by the owner or an employee over the age of 18 either directly or through a remote control device if the device is inaccessible to all customers.

Penalty: Any person who violates any provision of this Act is guilty of a petty offense and for the first offense shall be fined $200, $400 for the second offense in a 12-month period, and $600 for the third and any subsequent offense in a 12-month period.

Smokeless Tobacco Limitation Act (720 ILCS 680/3 - 4) No person shall sell any smokeless tobacco product to any person under the age of 18. Penalty: Any person who violates this Section shall be guilty of a business offense punishable by a fine of not more than $50 for each violation. (continued on reverse side) Smokeless Tobacco Limitation Act (720 ILCS 680/3 - 4) No person shall distribute or cause to be distributed to any person under the age of 18, without charge or at a normal cost, any smokeless tobacco product. Penalty: Any person who violates this Section shall be guilty of a business offense punishable for a first offense by a fine of $200, for a second time in a 12-month period by a fine of $400, and for the third or subsequent offense in a 12-month period by a fine of $600.

Tobacco Accessories and Smoking Herbs Control Act (720 ILCS 685/4) No person shall knowingly sell, barter, exchange, deliver, or give away or cause or permit or procure to be sold, bartered, exchanged, delivered, given away tobacco accessories or smoking herbs to any person under 18 years of age; or bidi cigarettes to any person regardless of age. Any person, firm, partnership, company or corporation operating a place of business where tobacco accessories and smoking herbs are sold or offered for sale shall post in a conspicuous place upon the premises a sign upon which there shall be imprinted the following statement: "SALE OF TOBACCO ACCESSORIES AND SMOKING HERBS TO PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR THE MISREPRESENTATION OF AGE TO PROCURE SUCH A SALE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW". The sign shall be printed on a white card in red letters at least one-half inch in height. Penalty: Any person who shall knowingly violate, or shall knowingly cause the violation this Act shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor or fines of $100 - $1,000 depending on which section is violated.

Cigarette Health Warning Act (ILCS 410 85/4) No person may sell or offer to sell cigarettes at retail, or sell cigarettes at retail using a cigarette vending machine, unless a sign is posted in a conspicuous place with the following message: "SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: SMOKING BY PREGNANT WOMEN MAY RESULT IN FETAL INJURY, PREMATURE BIRTH, AND LOW BIRTH WEIGHT. The sign shall be printed on white cards in red letters at least one-half inch in height. Penalty: Failure to display a warning sign as required by this Act is a business offense for which a fine not to exceed $1,000 may be imposed. Each day of failure to display a warning sign as required by this Act constitutes a separate offense.

This fact-sheet is distributed by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and may be reproduced. The above text is a summary and may not reflect the Act in its entirety. If you have any questions please contact the Commission at (312) 814-6884.

June 27, 2001
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Chicago Office:
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100 W. Randolph, Ste. 7-801
Chicago, IL 60601
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