ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. -- As New Jersey officially raises the legal age for buying tobacco from 19 to 21, effective Nov. 1, a Chicago suburb is considering raising its minimum age of purchase from 18 to 21 as an alternative to totally banning tobacco sales.
The mayor of Elk Grove Village, Ill., had hoped to make his community the first in the country to ban tobacco sales, according to CBS Chicago. However, after discussion over the matter, only one or two members of the six-member board were leaning toward supporting the proposal, the mayor told the news source.
“I respect my board. I have nothing but the utmost respect. My board members were concerned about the impact on the businesses,” Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said in the CBS report. “I had a little more support than I had 10 years ago when I brought it up last time. So it might just not be the right time yet, but I’m not going to give up my efforts.”
Instead of pushing forward with his proposal, Johnson said he will ask the board to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. With hearings scheduled for November, he said that has a “very favorable outlook.”
Meanwhile in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law this past July raising the legal age to buy tobacco from 19 to 21. The law applies to tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, and it becomes effective Nov. 1.
So far, five states—California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon—have changed the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.