CHICAGO (CBS) — For years, we’ve had a smoking ban at restaurants and bars; now there’s talk of banning the sale of tobacco at gas stations and convenience stores in Elk Grove.
Tanya Triche Dawood with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says gas stations have come to rely on the profit they make, not just from gasoline, but also from cigarettes. As such, it’s a stressful time as they wait to see what the Elk Grove Village Board will do with a proposal to ban the sale of tobacco.
There are two options on the table: One would prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21; the other would ban the sale to everyone.
“You have retailers that have invested there, that have their businesses there and are selling tobacco, and to have to take tobacco out of those stores can make them completely unprofitable,” Dawood said.
Dawood says she understands the proposal stems from health concerns. She says there’s no doubt the FDA’s done an excellent job educating the public. Her opinion — smokers are going to keep smoking, they’ll just go someplace else to get their fix.
“If those products aren’t being purchased in Elk Grove Village, they’ll be purchased in the municipalities that surround it, and the folks who live in that village will probably be asked at some point to make up that revenue in other areas.”
The Elk Grove village board is expected to talk about this further at a meeting Tuesday night.