CHICAGO (CBS) — Aldermen have approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest push to cut down on tobacco use, by raising the smoking age in Chicago to 21, and banning chewing tobacco at ballparks and other sports arenas.
Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita was among the anti-smoking advocates who strongly supported following the lead of cities like Boston, New York, Cleveland, and north suburban Evanston. California lawmakers also recently passed legislation raising that state’s smoking age to 21.
In addition to the higher smoking age, the Chicago City Council also approved the mayor’s plan for higher taxes on non-cigarette tobacco products, a ban on smokeless tobacco at all professional and amateur sports stadiums in Chicago, and a prohibition on tobacco coupons and discounts.
“Today, we’re about to be one step closer to creating Chicago’s first tobacco-free generation, where countless children throughout Chicago have the opportunity to have a life free from addiction and from a destructive habit that will shorten their lives,” Morita said.