Chicago to Require Warning Signs at All Tobacco Retailers, Bans Free Sampling of Tobacco Products


The city of Chicago has passed a new ordinance that will require all tobacco retailers in the city to post new warning signs at each entrance to their stores as part of an increased effort to further reduce tobacco usage and smoking rates in the city.

The new law states that every business holding a tobacco retailers license must post signage so that it will be “clearly visible to all persons entering the licensed premises.” The signage will be designed by the city’s Department of Public Health, and will include a prominent warning about the dangers of tobacco use, as well as information about how to reach a cessation helpline.


Also included in the ordinance is a ban on the free sampling of all tobacco products within the city. In a statement issued by the mayor’s office, the city’s ordinance “eliminates the legal sampling of other tobacco products at qualified adult facilities, which is not otherwise banned under federal law.”

The changes come at the request of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been a staunch opponent to tobacco in the city, and who also led the charge to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21-years-old in 2016. He is specifically looking at reducing youth smoking rates and the growing influence of e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and other tobacco alternative products as a way to attract and addict youth to nicotine.

The ordinance was passed at Wednesday’s city council meeting and is scheduled to go into effect 150 days following its passage.

Chicago is the third most populated city in the United States, with a 2016 population estimate of 2.705 million people.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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