The Elk Grove Village, Illinois, Board of Trustees passed the “Tobacco 21” ordinance that will raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21, which includes nicotine vaping. The policy, which will go into effect January 1, 2018, will protect young people from beginning a lifetime of addiction and, ultimately, save their lives.
Kevin L Kovitz MD, MBA, FCCP, attended the Village Board meeting to advocate for “Tobacco 21.” He is a Sustaining Member of the CHEST Foundation, continually exemplifying what it is to be a lung health champion.
Dr. Kovitz noted, “This policy will protect our kids from the scourge of Big Tobacco and save funding for health-care costs and, most importantly, will ultimately save lives. The ordinance will protect the most vulnerable parts of our population, our children. Raising the legal age puts tobacco products on par with alcohol and protects young adults from developing a dangerous lifelong habit.”
Five US states have also passed Tobacco 21; they include California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey, and Oregon. There are many local ordinances around the country but more are needed.
Advocating for this ordinance demonstrates the effectiveness of grassroots advocacy in our local communities.