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Emanuel hopes to raise tobacco buying age to 21

Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans introduce an ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products in Chicago from 18 to 21.

If passed, the ordinance “would put tobacco products on par with alcohol and protect young adults from starting a dangerous lifelong habit,” according to an emailed statement from the mayor’s office.

The mayor’s office cited New York, Boston, Cleveland, Kansas City and north suburban Evanston as cities that have already raised the age to buy tobacco products.

The proposal comes only days after Emanuel announced his desire to levy a new $6 million tax on cigars, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco to pay for a one-week summer transition program for all incoming high school freshmen and two weeks of summer school for eighth-graders identified as drop-out risks .