At least 11 municipalities in state have raised tobacco sale age to 21
Elk Grove Village isn't alone as it considers raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
At least 11 Illinois municipalities including Chicago have moved to a 21 standard, and Elk Grove Village will hold a hearing on the issue Dec. 13. Lake County has also instituted a 21 policy in unincorporated areas.
The Elk Grove Village-based American Academy of Pediatrics is campaigning to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from age 18 to 21 nationwide.
"Increasing the age for sale of tobacco products to 21 will help counter the tobacco industry's efforts to target young people at a critical time when many move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking," American Cancer Society spokeswoman Amy Jo Steinbruecker said.
Elk Grove Village officials also are pondering a ban on all tobacco sales. Age restrictions, however, can go a long way, said Kurt Ribisl, professor and chairman of the Department of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina.
Illinois Retail Merchants Association Vice President and General Counsel Tanya Triche Dawood objects to raising the age.
"We want to be able to sell our product to adults who make a decision to smoke tobacco products," Dawood said. "Last I checked, 18-year-olds were adults."