Hearing no objections from aldermen this week, a city health panel plans to develop strategies for raising the minimum age for buying tobacco products in Evanston to 21.

The Evanston Health Advisory Council report, which Evanston Now previewed earlier this week, was presented to the City Council’s Human Services Committee Monday night.

At the meeting Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, suggested “there might be some push back from civil libertarians objecting to taking away one more thing people can do when they’re between the ages of 18 and 21.”

“But the data is pretty compelling,” Grover said, that making it harder for young people to get tobacco helps reduce tobacco use over the long run.

And Grover said her sister lives in the latest of several communities in Massachusetts that have raised the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21.

Alderman Delores Holmes noted survey results that show many local high-school students report getting cigarettes from their parents — either willingly or unwillingly. “It’s just like alcohol” that way, Holmes said.

The city’s health director, Evonda Thomas-Smith, said the 25-member health panel, which incudes representatives of both hospitals and both school districts as well as religious leaders and other local residents, meets every other month.

She wasn’t able Tuesday to provide an estimate of when a specific proposal for changing the city code might emerge from the group.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. We should also raise the

    We should also raise the driving age to 21, that way all the parents that are concerned about the safety of their high school-aged children won't have to worry about their kids texting and driving until they're experienced adult drivers. Then we should raise the selective service registration age to at least 23, that way parents can be sure their kids will have 4 or 5 years to attend college before running the risk of being drafted (which could be dangerous.) We should probably put age and quantity restrictions on the purchasing of high glycemic index foods too. And let's not forget to make legal curfew for people under 21 to no later than 9pm. 

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *