Chicago Smoking Age Increase Coming Soon
Starting Friday you will have to be 21 to purchase tobacco in Chicago.
The new law that takes effect July 1 will raise the age from 18 within the city limits.
Mayor Emanuel says that this is a good thing for Chicago's youth but detractors say that there will be some unintended consequences.
Rob Karr is the president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says that while he understands the good intentions of the law it will not have the intended effect. He says that raising the age will just push people outside the city to buy cigarettes and will usher illegal cigarettes into the city.
Outside of the loss of cigarette revenue Karr says that he is also concerned about other lost revenue.
Once you go (to a store) for one product, you typically don't go just for that product, you'll go for other things, whether it's liquor or soda or food. So it's a loss of sales and frankly for the city sales tax revenue beyond just the sale of cigarettes.
We've already spoken at length that the high cigarette tax doesn't really work in the state. If you take a look at discarded packs in the city the majority of them have tax stickers from Indiana, North Carolina or West Virginia.