A few weeks ago we reported that the Mayor of Chicago; Rahm Emanuel (D) wanted to impose an increased tobacco tax on cigars and other tobacco products. In addition to the tax the Mayor wanted to change the age in which a person could legally smoke from 18 to 21.
In a report from the Chicago Sun Times both measures which should have been routine saw the City Council Finance Committee attack the plan.
They argued that increased taxes would drive up the black market on cigarettes, lead to gun violence and put small mom and pop retailers out of business. The council also laughed at the notion that the taxes raised would be used for a one week program for incoming high school students and attacked the Mayor for his closing of mental health clinics.
The move is not yet dead as the Mayor is exploring the possibility of phasing in the higher smoking age.