Lake Zurich raises age of tobacco sales to 21

 
 
Updated 12/4/2018 3:44 PM
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  • In an effort to curb teen smoking and vaping, the Lake Zurich village board Monday night voted to raise the age to purchase and possess tobacco products to 21.

    In an effort to curb teen smoking and vaping, the Lake Zurich village board Monday night voted to raise the age to purchase and possess tobacco products to 21. Associated Press file photo

This article has been corrected to clarify the ages for possessing tobacco.

The village of Lake Zurich became the 28th municipality in the state to raise the age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21 Monday night.

The village board unanimously approved the plan, which was endorsed by the Lake Zurich School District 95 and is designed to prevent young people from smoking or vaping.

Trustee Jonathan Sprawka said he learned a lot from an event on teen vaping hosted by the school district and the Ela Coalition Against Youth Substance Abuse last week.

"(It was) definitely helpful as a parent with kids who are becoming teenagers and will face these sort of choices as they go through high school and even middle school," Sprawka said.

Sprawka said from his perspective, vape shops don't fit into the fiber of the community.

The question of raising the tobacco age was first brought up at the board level on Nov. 19. At that meeting, the board also discussed implementing a one-year moratorium on new vape shops in the village so they could devise new rules for regulating them.

The vote would not have needed to happen if a statewide bill to raise the tobacco age had passed in Springfield last week. 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.

Trustee Marc Spacone said he hopes the legislature will take up the issue after new members and the new governor is sworn in.

"In the meantime, we're doing our little bit that we can locally," Spacone said.

Trustee John Shaw noted that some local representatives did not vote in favor of overturning Rauner's veto last week.

"I think out state legislators need to get on board with what's happening in the local community," Shaw said.

The village's ordinance also makes it illegal for those under 21 to possess tobacco products.

The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1.

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