While it is my opinion that there will always be someone to evade the law I also believe that there might be a reduction in under age smoking, The store workers selling the cigarettes will be more watchful of young people coming in and they will have to check the ID a lot longer than they do when thy were 18.
Although I am generally in favor of such laws, I am afraid that doing so will increase the taboo factor for young users and in turn make them more likely to smoke. When I was growing up there were always kids who smoked because they thought it made them look like adults. I think this law might increase that behavior.
Society has learned that if people are told they are not allowed to do something then many will want do do it even more. Examples of this type of behavior include alcohol consumption during prohibition and experimenting with marijuana. Therefore Chicago increasing the smoking age to 21 will not prevent smoking for those under 21. In fact, more young people may decide to try smoking just because they are no longer allowed to.
I agree with others when they say that most smokers started before the common minimum purchasing age of 18. My first try was before I was 18 and people I knew as a teenager were smoking before 18. It goes to show that bans or minimum age laws to possess or purchase certain things does little in the way of prevention. One is better off to teach their children that smoking is a terribly bad decision and set a good example by not smoking themselves.
No, increasing the minimum age to 21 in Chicago will not keep people who are under 21 from smoking. A majority of smokers start smoking when they are younger than age 18, the current minimum age in the city. Kids who are going to smoke will do so anyway, regardless of the minimum age that is set for smoking.