Gurnee Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21
(March 20, 2018) -
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The American Lung Association in Greater Chicago lauds the Gurnee Village Board for passing the “Tobacco 21” ordinance yesterday that will raise the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21. The policy, which will go into effect immediately, will protect young people from beginning a lifetime of addiction and ultimately save their lives.
“We congratulate Gurnee for joining several other municipalities in Illinois that have passed Tobacco 21, like Chicago, Elk Grove Village, Evanston, Oak Park, Highland Park, Naperville, Deerfield, Maywood, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, Berwyn, Buffalo Grove, and unincorporated Lake County,” said Kristen Young, Executive Director for the Lung Association in Greater Chicago. “This policy will protect our kids from the scourge of Big Tobacco and save funding in health care costs and, most important, will ultimately save lives.”
Five U.S. states have also passed Tobacco 21; they include California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon.
The ordinance will protect the most vulnerable parts of our population, our children. Young people are more vulnerable than older adults to nicotine addiction, which can harm brain development. In addition, 95 percent of adult smokers start before age 21. Raising the legal age puts tobacco products on par with alcohol and protect young adults from developing a dangerous lifelong habit and ultimately save lives.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the US, killing almost half-a-million people a year; stealing the lives of more than 18,000 Illinoisans every year.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.