RHA Formalizes Commitment to Legislative Advocacy

RHA formalizes its organizational commitment to play an active role in legislative advocacy as a means of achieving the prevention and control of lung disease. Eventually RHA would play a significant role in many legislative advocacy efforts, including protection of federal and state clean air legislation and the passage of smoke-free laws in Chicago and Illinois, among other locations.

Lake County First to Enact Tobacco 21

Board members approve a change to Lake County’s tobacco ordinance increasing the legal sales age to 21 for the purchase of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in unincorporated areas of the county. The vote receives broad support amongst the 21-member board at their September 12, 2017 meeting.

The change goes into effect January 1, 2018 and makes Lake County the first in Illinois to take this important step toward reducing teens’ access to tobacco products, a proven strategy for reducing current use and preventing youth from starting to use tobacco.

Buffalo Grove Adopts Tobacco 21

Village trustees of Buffalo Grove vote 3-2 to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 at their August 21, 2017 meeting, making Buffalo Grove the 11th municipality in Illinois to adopt Tobacco 21. The ordinance takes effect in February 2018.

Berwyn Enacts Tobacco 21

The Village of Berwyn adopts a Tobacco 21 ordinance at their July 25, 2017 meeting, raising the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.

Vernon Hills Passes Tobacco 21

The Village of Vernon Hills votes unanimously to raise the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 at its July 5, 2017 Board of Trustees meeting. The ordinance goes into effect on August 1, 2017.

Lincolnshire Adopts Tobacco 21

With a unanimous decision, Lincolnshire trustees increase the tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 after hearing from officials at the Lake County Health Department present their “Tobacco 21” initiative. The vote takes place at their June 12, 2017 meeting and the ordinance goes into effect immediately.

Maywood Enacts Tobacco 21

Tobacco 21 from Cook County Public Health on Vimeo.

On May 2, 2017, the Maywood Board of Trustees, based on testimony by RHA and other members of the Proviso Partners for Health coalition, votes unanimously to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21, effective immediately.

With strong support from Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H), a multi-sector coalition comprised of more than a dozen community agencies and institutions in Proviso Township, Maywood Chief of Police Valdimir Talley, and Respiratory Health Association, the vote was unanimous.

The passage of the ordinance is a “sign that low-income communities in Proviso are organizing and using their voice to promote community health and well-being for children and families,” said Lena Hatchett, executive lead of PP4H.

Since almost all smokers begin smoking during adolescence or young adulthood, raising the minimum legal sales age helps reduce the number of youth who start smoking. It helps keep tobacco products out of the hands of high school students and out of high school social circles because the majority of underage tobacco users get their tobacco from peers who themselves are under 21.

Ultimately, this ordinance will help improve the health of Maywood residents by:

  • reducing the burden of tobacco use on the community,
  • preventing people from beginning to use tobacco, and
  • reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.

Koula Michalousa, of Art’s Food and Beverage, attended the board meeting, along with the store’s new owner, Krupal Patel. As retailers, both were in complete support of the new ordinance.

“Smoking is blatantly not good for you and young people often make decisions that they later regret,” Michalousa said. “We think it’s a great health initiative and completely support the ordinance being passed.”

The new ordinance immediately went into effect and is now enforceable by the Maywood Police Department. In addition to raising the minimum purchase age, the ordinance also requires all retailers who sell tobacco products to post signage about the new age restrictions at every display of tobacco products that are for sale or are visible by customers.

Maywood joins many other communities in the Chicagoland area who have increased the minimum purchase age of tobacco products to 21, including Evanston, Chicago, Oak Park, Berwyn, and Deerfield.

“We hope Maywood’s leadership will help Broadview, Melrose Park, Bellwood and other communities take the same step in raising the tobacco purchase age to 21,” said Lanie Sanker Kast, RHA Program Manager.

On July 18, 2017, Respiratory Health Association recognized the Village of Maywood as a Lung Health Champion for passing the Tobacco 21 ordinance and taking strides to make Maywood a healthier, tobacco-free community.

If you are interested in learning more about PP4H and its tobacco-free living initiatives, contact Lesli Vaughan, RHA Program Coordinator, via email at lvaughan@resphealth.org or by phone at 312-628-0208.


Deerfield Raises Tobacco Purchase Age

The Village of Deerfield Board of Trustees approves an ordinance to raise the tobacco purchase age to 21. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017.