#Tobacco21: Chicago The Latest City To Raise Tobacco Sale Age To 21

Opened pack of cigarettes

Age 18 may not be the magic number to keep youth from smoking. Within this year, laws have been proposed that the legal minimum age for purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products should be raised to 21. Although only two states have passed this new law (Hawaii and California), 170 local jurisdictions around the country have approved this decree. City agencies have been working tirelessly to work with licensed tobacco retailers to inform them about this new rule. While the state of Illinois recently declined this proposal, the city of Chicago went ahead and approved this new law.

READ: Smoking May Put African Americans At Higher Risk For Kidney Damage

In fact, aldermen approved Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s latest push to make the legal age to buy tobacco in Chicago starting on July 1, 2016.  Council members also approved higher taxes and other efforts to combat tobacco sales to discourage teenagers from starting a harmful habit.  Supporters of the American Lung Association bill debated that cigarettes cause lung cancer, and the government should do everything in their power to protect young people from developing a nasty habit.

According to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, age 21 protects younger teens better. The younger the buyer is, the less likely they are to achieve a purchase even with current inconsistent enforcement. Researchers have found that if a person has never smoked by the age of 18, chances are three- to one- they never will. It is believed age 21 reduces initiation in younger kids and inhibits consolidation of addiction in older teens.