By Bill Cameron, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) At City Hall, Bill Cameron says Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to raise the age to buy cigarettes to 21 and raise $6 million taxing smokeless tobacco, got quite a lot of push-back from the aldermen today.
Mayor Emanuel has been weakened so much now, even his new anti-smoking proposal ran into defiance in the City Council Finance Committee.
West Side alderman Jason Ervin told the mayor’s health commissioner that this would drive small stores out of business and boost the black market for cigarettes.
“This is not something that I dreamed up. This is not something that Aldermen Sawyer dreamed up, Alderman Moore dreamed up, Alderman Hairston dreamed up. This is real stuff that when you come out in these communities and see it, you then may understand it. If you live it – you for sure will understand it but if you see it, it may give you a better option, a better look at the policies that your pushing – may give you a better sense of the detriment these things are doing to some of these communities,” said Alderman Ervin.
In the audience were small store operators who applauded aldermen to who stood up to the mayor’s proposal.
Response from Adam Collins, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Deputy Press Secretary:
“Mayor Emanuel has stood up to the tobacco industry countless times throughout his career to reduce youth smoking, and he’s not about to back down now. The tobacco industry can lobby as much as they like. We’ll continue speaking to and working with aldermen on this ordinance that will prevent young people from picking up smoking, while investing in their education.”
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