A number of tobacco-related changes proposed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were met with pushback on Monday as the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee effectively shut down the mayor’s proposal by shelving the discussion just days after it was discovered it could also be against Illinois state law.

City Aldermen said the mayor’s proposal to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 as well as levy an additional tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes–a group that includes both large and small cigars as well as smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco–would lead to an increase in gun violence and drive small retailers out of business, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times.

With the city already facing issues with the sale of “loosies,” or single cigarettes, Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke (14th Ward) said that the mayor’s plan would only “exacerbate the situation.”

The report goes onto state that the tax increase to fund a program to help eighth graders transition to high school was “ridiculed” by members of the committee, especially in light of several mental health clinics closed by Emanuel in 2012.

Emanuel said he will continue to work with the aldermen and city council to get his anti-tobacco agenda achieved.

Avatar photo

Patrick Lagreid

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 MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.