Health and Fitness

Illinois Awarding $1 Million in Grants to Reduce Youth Access to Tobacco Sales

First-ever combined tobacco/liquor seminars, teen video contest also announced

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–February 27, 2014.  To help protect the health of our children, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) is awarding $1 million in grants to communities throughout the state to implement the Kids Can’t Buy ‘Em Here tobacco enforcement program.

“This effort is a two-pronged approach, featuring both education and enforcement,” says ILCC Executive Director Gloria L. Materre. “Prevention is always our first priority. Communities who participate in the grant program will initially distribute educational materials to all their tobacco retailers, then conduct compliance checks to ensure they are following the law.” (Retailers can also order their own materials by visiting on the web.)

While Illinois continues to exceed the federally required 80 percent compliance rate for tobacco enforcement, the Commission has seen a steady decline in the compliance rate over the past several years. Because of this, a concerted effort is being made this year to implement the Kids Can’t Buy ‘Em Here tobacco program in all areas of the state. “Our goal is to reach those communities that have not participated in the past,” Materre explains. “We want all tobacco retailers to follow the law.”

To obtain a grant application for the Kids Can’t Buy ‘Em Here tobacco enforcement program, please visit The deadline for submission is March 31, 2014.

First-ever combined educational seminars on liquor and tobacco laws

In order to educate retailers on how to enforce minimum-age laws for both tobacco and liquor sales, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission is hosting FREE regional educational seminars throughout the state over the next two weeks (visit for location and registration information).        

In addition to learning more about the aforementioned tobacco program, attendees will also learn how their sales staff and patrons can comply with the law by utilizing the ILCC’s Beverage Alcohol Sellers/Servers Education & Training (BASSET) program, the Don’t Be Sorry underage drinking awareness effort, and the new Parental Responsibility and YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! campaigns. Free educational materials from all programs will be distributed at each of the regional meeting locations.

To register for one of the FREE regional meetings—and view the dates, times and locations of all meetings—please visit

Statewide teen video contest

As part of the YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! campaign, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission is holding a statewide Teen Video PSA Contest which is open to all youth in Illinois. The 30 second public service announcement submissions will be judged by the quality of work and their effectiveness
in encouraging positive underage drinking prevention behavior by parents, particularly those with
young teens.

To select the winning video, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission convened the 2014 YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! Teen Video PSA Youth Art Contest Judging Panel. Below are the panelists, representing all key stakeholder groups, including in the prevention field, at the local level, and in the liquor industry:

• Nolan Burke, Burke Beverage, Inc.
• Heidi Dahnke, Human Resources Center, Edgar/Clark Counties.
• Kay Daniel, Menard County School & Community Task Force.
• Peter Dell’Aquila, Chestnut Health Systems.
• Marne Fauser, IL Alcoholism & Drug Dependence Association.
• Paula Goodwin, Grundy/Kendall Regional Office of Education.
• Sam Grzeca, The LeaderShop.
• Nikki Lay, Breaking Free, Inc.
• Margaret Polovchak, OMNI Youth Services.
• Adam Price, Youth Outreach Services.
• Mayor Sam Pulia, Village of Westchester.
• Judy Randall, Health/Prevention Professional.
• Dr. Julie Tonsing-Meyer, McKendree University.
• Bill Tynan, City of St. Charles.
• Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi, Whiteside County.

Winner(s) will be announced during the statewide kickoff for the 2014 YOUR ACTIONS MATTER! campaign this April. Then, later this year, the winning video will air on TV stations throughout the
State of Illinois.

Please visit for contest rules, the application form, and more information on judging criteria. Entry deadline for video submissions is Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 5pm sharp.



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