John Gregory -- Illinois Radio Network

Selling tobacco products will now require a license from the state.

Beginning January 1, any retailer selling cigarettes or any other tobacco product will need a $75 license. Besides allowing the state to catalog tobacco retailers, the goal is to punish businesses which sell these products to underage buyers.

“Kids in every neighborhood know the one retailer that they can go to to buy cigarettes,” said Kathy Drea, lobbyist for the American Lung Association of Illinois. “We hope that losing their license is a big enough incentive to keep those retailers from selling to kids and continuing to do it for year after year after year.”

Most of the license fee will go to tracking down the smuggling and sale of contraband cigarettes.

Drea says about 4,000 businesses have already filed for the license with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

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