City Council Approves Menthol Ban near Schools

Official Statement of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago

CHICAGO (December 11, 2013)

The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago applauds the Chicago City Council for overwhelmingly approving an ordinance, proposed by 37th Ward Alderman Emma Mitts and 16th Ward Alderman JoAnn Thompson, prohibiting the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of schools in the City. 

“Flavored tobacco products are proven to be a ‘starter’ product for youth who begin smoking. This ordinance will help reduce the cycle of addiction to harmful tobacco products, it will help prevent a lifetime of addiction and will ultimately save lives,” said Meghan Miller, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago.

“We applaud the Chicago City Council for taking action in the name of Chicago’s youth. We urge the City Council to continue being the nation’s leaders on tobacco control and continue the momentum by passing the proposal to amend the Clean Indoor Air ordinance to include the use of electronic smoking devices.”

“We also applaud Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his comprehensive approach on tobacco control; from his town hall meetings on curbing menthol cigarette use among Chicago’s youth, to proposing a cigarette tax increase that passed just recently.” 

The passage of the menthol-flavored cigarettes ordinance is unprecedented.  Before today, no jurisdiction at any level of government (Federal, state, or local) had ever included menthol as a flavor in the many different laws that regulate flavored tobacco.

About the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago
Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit