Home Health-care News American College of Chest Physicians supports new Cook County tobacco ordinance

American College of Chest Physicians supports new Cook County tobacco ordinance

Glenview, IL – The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) is in full support of the proposed Cook County, Illinois, ordinance to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and tobacco by-products, including vaping products, to 21. 

Tobacco use is known to cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other respiratory health disorders. Close to 95 percent of smokers try their first cigarette before the age of 21. In addition, 2,100 kids try their first cigar each day. In 2016, it was reported that e-cigarette usage increased by 900% among high school students from 2011-2015, becoming the most commonly used tobacco product among youth in the United States.

The proposed ordinance, co-sponsored by Commissioner Britton and Commissioner Suffredin, prohibits the sale and distribution of tobacco products to those under the age of 21. Further, it amends the definition of tobacco product to include all forms of products containing nicotine derived from tobacco ranging from leaf to liquid, and consumed by residents in any form including electronic vaporizer devices.

“Limiting access in the younger age groups to these addictive substances is critical to mitigating future habits,” explained President of the American College of Chest Physicians, Clayton T. Cowl, MD, MS, FCCP. “Medical research has noted direct correlations to early use of tobacco and future development of lung cancer, heart disease, COPD and strokes.”

The proposed ordinance also recognizes the importance of giving residents options to quit smoking, specifically excluding any product that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a cessation product.

As a nonprofit organization dedicated to not only the diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases but also the prevention, the American College of Chest Physicians encourages that this new ordinance be passed in Cook County.

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About the American College of Chest Physicians®
CHEST is the global leader in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Its mission is to champion advanced clinical practice, education, communication and research in chest medicine. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians, and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit chestnet.org.