Lincolnshire increases age requirement to buy cigarettes to 21

  • You now must be 21 to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products in Lincolnshire. The village board voted Monday to increase the minimum age from 18.

      You now must be 21 to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products in Lincolnshire. The village board voted Monday to increase the minimum age from 18. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer 2005

 
 
Updated 6/12/2017 8:36 PM

If you want to buy cigarettes in Lincolnshire, you now need to be 21 instead of 18.

The village board on Monday voted to increase the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products, electronic smoking devices and related accessories. The change is effective immediately.

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The legal age for possessing tobacco or e-cigarettes remains 18 in town.

Lincolnshire joins a small number of Illinois communities -- including Chicago, Naperville and Highland Park -- that have taken such action. Evanston was the first Illinois community to raise the minimum age, doing so in 2014.

Deerfield increased the minimum age for both purchasing and possessing tobacco products to 21 this year.

Under state law, the minimum age is 18. But different ages can be set at the municipal level.

Lincolnshire's move was inspired by a recent presentation from the Lake County Health Department. Studies indicate raising the age to 21 could reduce teen smoking, improve the health of residents and reduce associated medical costs.

Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister praised the board for making the change.

"If we can stop people from ever starting to smoke, we will reduce preventable deaths related to tobacco," he said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Trustees initially were scheduled to vote on the proposal May 22, but a decision was delayed because three of the village board's six members were absent from the meeting.

At Monday's meeting, Trustees Tom McDonough and Gerard Leider were absent.

The amended ordinance doesn't specify penalties for merchants who sell cigarettes to customers under 21.

Only four local businesses are affected: three gas stations and a pharmacy.

Police Chief Joe Leonas said his department will work with vendors to ensure compliance.

"I imagine they would want to post the information in their stores," Leonas said.

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