Chicago Suburb Drops Plan to Ban Tobacco Sales

After considering a ban on the sale of tobacco products, a Chicago suburb ha stepped back from those potential plans.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson had put forth a proposed village ordinance prohibiting the sale of tobacco entirely within the northwest suburban community, but withdrew the plan on Thursday. 

Instead, the village will look to follow the lead of other municipalities that have raised the minimum tobacco age from 18 to 21. 

The health risks related of products like cigarettes and chewing tobacco are well-documented.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 480,000 people in the U.S. die from illnesses related to tobacco use each year.

Smoking also accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the country - including about 80 percent of all lung cancer deaths.

The proposed ban had smokers and retailers alike concerned.

"It could really bad for a lot of businesses, especially small gas stations like us - small mom-and-pop kind of gas stations," said Marquinta Simmons, a sales clerk at an Elk Grove Village BP gas station.

"Even though it has a huge name, it’s still a small mom-and-pop station," she added. "A lot of sales come from cigarettes."

Jeff Hanrahan said Tuesday that he buys his cigarettes from that very station because "they got the market cornered as far as lowest prices in town."

The Elk Grove Village Board of Trustees is scheduled to take up the proposal to raise the tobacco purchasing age in December. 

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