Smoke-Free Illinois Act Public Act 095-0017

Smoke-Free Illinois Act Public Act 095-0017

On January 11, 2007 Illinois State Senator John J. Cullerton introduced comprehensive legislation that would make Illinois workplaces and indoor public places smoke-free. Similar legislation was also introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives as House Bill 246 by Representative Karen Yarbrough. The American Lung Association of Illinois joined more than 450 other organizations in applauding State Senator Cullerton and State Representative Karen Yarbrough for this important step toward making Illinois the next smoke-free state. [http://www.lungil.org/policy/sfilact.cfm]

The Illinois General Assembly put the Smoke-Free Illinois Act [http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0017] into effect beginning January 1, 2008. Per Damon T. Arnold, M.D., M.P.H Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, " [http://www.smoke-free.illinois.gov The Smoke-free Illinois Website] is designed to provide a variety of informational resources. I encourage you to read the information contained here to become more informed about the Smoke-free Illinois law, to access information about secondhand smoke, to seek assistance to quit smoking or to lodge a complaint about a possible violation."

moke-free Locations

As of January 1, 2008, the Smoke-Free Illinois Act [http://www.smoke-free.illinois.gov] requires public places and places of employment must be completely smoke-free inside and within 15 feet from [entrance] s, [exit] s, windows that open and ventilation intakes. This includes but is not limited to:
* Public places and buildings, offices, elevators, restrooms, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores
* Restaurants, bars, taverns and gaming facilities
* Lobbies, reception areas, hallways, meeting rooms, waiting rooms, break rooms and other common-use areas
* Concert halls, auditoriums, enclosed or partially enclosed sports arenas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, convention facilities, polling places and private clubs
* Hospitals, health care facilities, health care clinics, child care, adult care or other similar social service care
* No less than 75 percent of hotel or motel sleeping quarters rented to guests
* Public conveyances, government-owned vehicles and vehicles open to the public

Exemptions

* A private residence, as long as it isn’t used as a home-based business, open to the public: child care, healthcare facility, adult daycare
* Retail tobacco stores whose sales from tobacco are greater than 80 percent of total revenue and don’t have a liquor, restaurant, or food license
* Nursing homes or long-term care facilities both private, and semi-private, where all of the occupant(s) smoke, and have requested to be in a smoking room
* Hotel or motel rooms, up to 25 percent of capacity, as long as the rooms are on the same floor, and the smoke doesn’t get into the non-smoking rooms.

Enforcement

The Smoke Free Illinois Act (Senate Bill 500, P.A. 95-0017), and codified as 410 ILCS 82 took effect January 1, 2008. It repeals the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act (410 ILCS 80) and it amends the State Mandates Act (30 ILCS 805) by adding Section 8.31. Enforcement, fines, and proprietor responsibilities are outlined per the Illinois Municipal League Newsletter dated December 13, 2007 [http://www.iml.org]
* Enforcement: The Illinois Department of Public Health, local public health departments, and local law enforcement agencies are required to enforce the act. These agencies may assess fines to any corporation, partnership, association or other entity violating the no smoking provisions of the act. Each day that a violation occurs is a separate violation. 410 ILCS 82/40.
* Fines: A person who smokes in a prohibited area shall be fined from $100 to $250. A person who owns, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment that violates the act shall be fined not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation within one year after the first violation, and not less than $2,500 for each additional violation within one year after the first violation. 410 ILCS 82/45.
* Proprietor Responsibilities: Post a “no smoking” sign at each entrance. Do not permit smoking in a public place, a place of employment or within 15 feet of any entrance. Remove ashtrays from all areas where smoking is prohibited. 410 ILCS 82/20.

Fine Localization

According to the Suburban Chicago News [http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/] , Plainfield, IL. passed a local law to keep the fines from the smoking ban violations this month, instead of sharing them with the state. Joan Myers, a village attorney, said that the town only receives fifteen dollars from a one-hundred and fifty dollar fine, and the rest goes towards court costs. According to Jeff Jurgens, an attorney with Ancel-Glick, localizing this law is entering uncharted territory. He then said that his firm represents over 20, Illinois municipalities on the matter. Jurgens went on to say, “In most communities, it’s going to be the local police department that will incur the expense of enforcing the law.” “So I think it makes sense that the community keep whatever income it generates.”

Working With Violators

As of February 5, 2008, Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, and Fulton counties’ Health Departments have not fined any businesses for violations of the smoking ban yet. Instead, they are trying to work with the businesses in order to educate them about the law. Brian Tun, the director of health promotion at the Peoria County Health Department, estimated that about forty complaints had been made in the Peoria County area already. If they don’t send someone to investigate, they will send a letter to remind the business to comply with the law. He also stated a second warning letter has not been necessary to send out yet. The Health Department officials are undecided on how to handle additional violations after the second warning, if they are to go beyond the state’s minimums. Sara Sparkman is the Tazewell County Health Department’s Community Relations Manager. She said they have received seventeen complaints from nine separate locations. Violations include an informative letter for a first violation, a warning letter for a second violation, a meeting with the owner for a third violation, and probably fines after that. [http://www.pjstar.com]

Loopholes

Many business owners seem to have found a loophole in the non-smoking laws. A January 29th article from the Chicago Tribune [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-smoking-shackjan29,0,2108731.story] stated that for a minimum of $5,000, a business could install a smoking hut, or shack [http://www.handi-hut.com/pages/about-handi-hut.php] outside their establishment. Since the state and city regulations haven’t been formed as of yet, owners are installing these for their employees as well as their customers. Many bar owners are even going as far as installing TVs in their huts so that their patrons won’t miss out on any games while they smoke and stay warm. [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-smokehuts20080128214420,0,1920948.photo]

Assistance for Hospital Employees

From 1993 to 1996, the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine decided to run an experiment, partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) [http://www.rwjf.org/reports/grr/022931.htm] , which has a national program known as the Tobacco Policy Research and Evaluation Program. The researchers were on a quest to find out if the new smoke-free restrictions put on hospitals would hinder or help the facility’s employees. They tested on over a thousand hospitals. Notable results were found that included hospital compliance to the new laws, employees who were under this ban were more likely to quit, and smokers under pressure from fellow employees to follow the rules were more apt to stop smoking as well.

References:

* http://www.cancer.org
* http://www.cdc.gov
* http://www.hhs.gov
* http://www.lungchicago.org/site/epage/26730_487.htm
* http://www.smoke-free.illinois.gov
* http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-smoking-shackjan29,0,2108731.story
* http://www.handi-hut.com/pages/about-handi-hut.php
* http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-smokehuts20080128214420,0,1920948.photo
* http://www.rwjf.org/reports/grr/022931.htm
* http://www.pjstar.com
* http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com
* http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=095-0017
* http://www.iml.org

Other References

List of smoking bans in the United States


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