Illinois has had a number of cities raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and nicotine delivery products, now it has its first county to pass such an increase, as on Tuesday the Lake County Board approved an increase proposal, with just two of the 21 members opposing it.
Once the ban goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, retailers in the unincorporated areas of Lake County will be only be able to sell tobacco products to persons that are at least 21-years-old. Should they sell tobacco to a person under 21, they will face a fine of at least $115 that escalates to $500 for a repeat offense, as well as the possible revocation of their retail tobacco license for up to 30 days.
While the increase is only applicable to the unincorporated parts of the county, five cities have already passed similar increases: Deerfield, Highland Park, Lincolnshire, Vernon Hills, and Buffalo Grove.
Lake County is the third most populous in the state, with approximately 704,000 residents. It is located directly to the north of Cook County, the county in which Chicago sits.