Following the lead of the city of Chicago, the Kane County Health Department is encouraging cities to pass new ordinances that would raise the minimum tobacco purchasing age to 21.
According to the Health Department’s website, the high school smoking rate in the state of Illinois is above the national average, and 230,000 children now under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking nationwide.
“We have been alarmed the national teen smoking rates are increasing,” Kane County assistant director of community health told the Chicago Tribune.
According to the Tribune, the teen smoking rate in Kane County is eight percent, and rates are growing nationally.
The city of Chicago passed an ordinance in 2016 that raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products in the city from 18 to 21, following the lead of other major cities like Boston in that decision.
The Illinois State Senate also passed a measure to raise the legal smoking age, but the bill did not pass the House and did not become law in the state.