Chicago suburb raises legal age to buy tobacco to 21

Cigarette, Smoke, Ashtray
FILE - In this Saturday, March 2, 2013, photo, a cigarette burns in an ashtray. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago community is raising the legal age to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products to 21.

Highland Park, located north of Chicago, is the first community in Lake County to increase the minimum age from 18. Several other Illinois communities, including Chicago, already have done so.

The new ordinance takes effect in Highland Park on Jan. 1.

Mayor Nancy Rotering says in a statement Thursday that smoking is a public health issue. She said the action is a step forward to “help our youth and young adults avoid addiction to harmful substances.”

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