Lake Zurich board to vote Monday on whether to raise tobacco age to 21
The Lake Zurich village board is expected to vote on whether to raise the age to buy and legally possess tobacco products to 21 years old at its meeting Monday night.
The village board first discussed raising the age at the Nov. 19 meeting. In the time since, the village has been collecting feedback from residents, the business community, and other Lake Zurich stakeholders. Officials hosted an online poll on the topic on the village's website, which got 281 responses, with 228 people, or 81 percent of respondents, in favor of increasing the age.
The same number of respondents said they did not smoke traditional cigarettes or vaping products to a different question on the poll.
The measure is supported by medical groups and leaders at Lake Zurich District 95 school district. Doug Goldberg, the Lake Zurich District 95 school board president, and Kaine Osburn, the superintendent of District 95, both spoke in favor at the Nov. 19 meeting. Osburn said raising the age would help curb the ever increasing amounts of teen vaping.
On Wednesday, the school district partnered with authorities from the Ela Coalition Against Youth Substance Abuse to host a discussion about vaping.
Mayor Thomas Poynton said at the meeting he was conflicted about whether he supported raising the age and listed several things that 16- and 18-year-olds get to do, including getting a driver's license, voting, serving in the military and gambling.
Poynton said Friday that after attending the vaping discussion Wednesday night, he still was conflicted. As mayor, he typically votes only if it comes down to a tie between board members. He said if he was called upon to break a tie among the board members, he would likely say no.
"If I had a vote, it would be a spur of the moment kind of decision."
If the board approves the measure, the village will become the 28th Illinois municipality to do so.
The upcoming vote would have been rendered moot if a statewide bill to raise the tobacco age had passed in Springfield. On Thursday, the last day of the fall session, state lawmakers came nine votes short of overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the bill.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. at the village hall, 70 E. Main St.