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You Have To Be 21 To Buy Cigarettes In Chicago Starting This Week

By Mae Rice in News on Jun 28, 2016 6:19PM

Photo via Ron Cruz on Flickr

Chicago's laws about tobacco sales change this week: Starting Friday, you have to be 21 to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products, up from the current age requirement of 18. The law, which passed City Council in March but is just now going into effect, also requires retailers selling cigarettes to post new signs reflecting the change in the age requirement.

“Youth smoking is now at a record low in Chicago, thanks to a concerted effort and series of reforms to shield our children from the harmful effects of tobacco products,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a mid-June statement on the measure. “With these latest reforms and the newly required purchase age of 21, we will discourage tobacco use among youth, and also reduce black market activity, so that our youth can grow up healthy.”

Not everyone likes the measure as much as Rahm, though. Rob Karr, president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, told CBS he thinks the new law will only make people buy cigarettes outside the city, or illegally.

Cool Chicago teens are also bummed out by the measure, probably. The law applies to vaping paraphernalia, too, according to the Mayor's Office—so at this point, the only way to show how cool of a teen you are is by Snapchatting yourself chugging Red Bull.