Mount Prospect raises age to buy tobacco products to 21 from 18

 

Mount Prospect village board members this week approved an ordinance increasing the minimum age from 18 to 21 for the sale and purchase of tobacco products.

In addition, at Tuesday's meeting the village expanded the traditional smoking clean air regulations to include electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products.

Administrative Analyst Alex Bertolucci, who presented the changes to the village board, said recent Centers for Disease Control data shows increased usage of e-cigarettes among middle and high school students.

He said Mount Prospect police in 2016 issued two citations for possession of tobacco products by minors. In 2017, that number increased to eight, while in 2018 it jumped to 57.

Among the communities that have raised the age are Rolling Meadows and Cook County.

Mayor Arlene Juracek said the ordinance does not prohibit possession.

"I personally think possession enforcement will be hard," she said. "My concern is those 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds who are already addicted to smoking. We're making it harder for them to get their cigarettes or tobacco products. They're going to have to go outside the village to buy them. I just don't see penalizing them on the possession thing."

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