After waiting to act, Barrington officials propose their own ‘Tobacco 21’ ordinance

Barrington may be joining other area communities that have increased the purchasing age of cigarettes and other tobacco products, after officials recently indicated they were open to the idea.

During a committee meeting Oct. 8, many Barrington trustees said they support a proposed change to village regulations that would raise the legal age for purchases of tobacco and other alternative nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21 within the village’s borders.
The proposal, if approved, also would mark a shift in position for Barrington officials, who previously have said the purchasing age on tobacco products would be an issue best left for state lawmakers to decide.

But the village’s stance began to change after a bill that would have banned the sale of tobacco products to people under 21 across Illinois was vetoed in August by Gov. Bruce Rauner, said Village President Karen Darch.

“We were waiting to see if the state would pass one for the whole state,” Darch said. “When it did not, it was time to act.”

In his veto message, the Republican governor wrote that raising the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 would “push residents to buy tobacco products from non-licensed vendors or in neighboring states.”

Barrington officials could vote on their proposal and amend its ordinance on vaping and tobacco sales during a meeting on Oct. 22. The proposal comes at a time when public health officials, along with some students and educators, have urged individual municipalities in Lake County to increase the purchasing age within each town’s limits.

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October 9. 2018

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