Prevention Leadership Team Commends Local Tobacco 21 Ordinances

Fri June 22, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DUPAGE COUNTY- The DuPage County Prevention Leadership Team (PLT) praises the local efforts to raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. Several communities, including Aurora, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, West Chicago and Wheaton have recently passed a "Tobacco 21" ordinance, joining more than 300 localities nationwide.

"We congratulate these cities for leading DuPage County in Tobacco 21 ordinances", said Doug Petit, PLT Co-Chair. "Increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 will significantly reduce youth tobacco-use, and ultimately save lives," he said.

Should Gov. Bruce Rauner sign legislation to prohibit tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 21, Illinois would become the sixth state to do so, joining California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon as "Tobacco 21" states.

The ordinances will also impact the growing trend of vaping among DuPage County youth.

While some may argue that e-cigarettes are a "healthier alternative" to smoking cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adolescents and young adults who use e-cigarettes are 8.3 times more likely than non-e-cigarette users to progress to cigarette smoking after one year. 

Results from the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) indicate that tobacco-use has increased among DuPage County middle- and high-school students since 2014. In the past 30 days, 26 percent of high-school seniors reported using cigarettes or other smoked tobacco, chewing tobacco, hookah or e-cigarettes. Although studies show six percent of high-school seniors report using traditional cigarettes, 14 percent said they use e-cigarettes and hookah or water-pipe.

The PLT commends the DuPage County Board of Health, for signing a resolution in December 2017 supporting this important policy, as recommended by the DuPage County Health Department.

"Numerous studies show that raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 is an effective intervention," said Karen Ayala, Health Department Executive Director.

Tobacco use is a contributing factor in the leading causes of death in DuPage County, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and chronic lower respiratory disease, Ayala said.

Increasing the age to purchase all tobacco products to 21 will help decrease the number of users, and protect all youth and young adults from the harms of all types of tobacco use.

For more about Tobacco 21 visit: https://tobacco21.org/.

To see the list of U.S. Communities with Tobacco 21 Ordinances (as of March 31, 2018):
https://tobacco21.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/localitylist3.30.pdf.

###

Click here to download a printable version of this News Release