After weeks of proposals, revisions and a delayed vote, the Evanston City Council unanimously passed an ordinance on Monday night that bans the sale of tobacco or nicotine delivery products to anyone under the age of 21. The move has garnered extra attention since Evanston is home to Northwestern University, which has a large number of students who will now be affected by the change.
An earlier version of the bill called for possession of tobacco products by persons under 21-years-old to be a crime, but several members of the city council felt that went too far and requested it be struck from the proposal before they would cast a second vote for it. The ordinance puts the burden of sale on the retailer, with fines ranging between $200 and $500 for selling to a person under 21.
With the passage of Ordinance 111-O-14, Evanston is the first city in Illinois to increase the minimum purchasing age for tobacco products to 21. It will go into effect upon receiving the mayor’s signature and being published as required by law.
Evanston is located in northeastern Illinois, 12 miles north of Chicago and bordering Lake Michigan, with a population of 75,000.