Come August 1, Oak Park will join a growing national movement aimed at deterring tobacco use among young people by increasing the minimum age to possess or purchase to 21 years old.
Anyone under age 21 caught purchasing or possessing tobacco products will face a minimum $25 fine for the first offense once the law goes into effect. The minimum penalty for anyone selling tobacco products to customers under 21 was increased to $100.
The new Village ordinance also makes it illegal for anyone under 21 years old to sell tobacco products, but implementation of that section of the law was delayed until Aug. 1, 2017 to give merchants sufficient time to make any necessary staffing changes. Much like with alcohol, businesses that sell tobacco products will be required to have someone 21 or older perform the sale or face a fine for each violation.
To date, more than 120 cities in seven states have raised tobacco use to age 21. California and Hawaii also have increased their age requirements statewide. For more information on tobacco and other health-related issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org.