Elk Grove Village Snuffs Out Proposed Ban On Tobacco Sales

CHICAGO (CBS) — The mayor of Elk Grove Village had hoped to make his community the first in the country to ban tobacco sales, but now he says he doesn’t have the votes on the village board.

“I respect my board. I have nothing but the utmost respect. My board members were concerned about the impact on the businesses,” Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said.

Johnson had sought to prohibit tobacco sales in Elk Grove Village, but said some board members were worried about people’s rights.

“Even though I disagree with that argument,” he said. “Government has a right — it has a duty — to protect us, and nothing harms people more than cigarettes,” he said.

The mayor said only one or two members of the six-member board were leaning toward supporting his call for a ban on tobacco sales.

“I had a little more support than I had 10 years ago when I brought it up last time. So it might just not be the right time yet, but I’m not going to give up my efforts,” he said.

Instead of pushing forward with his proposed ban on tobacco sales, Johnson will ask the village board to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. He said that has a “very favorable outlook” before the village board.

Johnson said a hearing on that proposal has been scheduled for November, followed by a possible vote on Nov. 14. If the proposal passes, it would go into effect in January.

In 2000, Elk Grove Village was the first community in the nation to require mandatory ID checks for package liquor sales, according to Johnson.

“We set a trend,” he said. “That’s why I thought my board might be kind of leaning (toward the tobacco sales ban).”

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