Illinois’ smoke-free law is now in effect

Although some of the rules and details are still not finalized, the Illinois Smoke-free law is now in effect.

As of Jan. 1, indoor public places and places of employment in Illinois are now smoke-free.

The new state smoking resistriction includes, but is not limited to, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, private clubs and gaming facilities. Smoking also is prohibited in public conveyances, such as taxis, buses, shuttles, and any vehicle owned, leased or operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state.

The act also includes requirements for signage, and describes how to lodge a complaint, the enforcement process and how fines will be determined for violations.

Local ordinances may have additional regulations on where smoking is prohibited.

Under proprietor requirements, business owners shall:

Not permit smoking at their business, or with in 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes.

Post No Smoking signs at each entrance to the place of employment or public place where smoking is prohibited.

No Smoking signs must comply with the specification of the Smoke-Free Act and have the universal logo on it.

Consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a fed bar across it, the sign must be clearly and conspicuously posted in each public place and place of employment.

Signs are available in English and Spanish for printing on the Illinois Smoke Free Web site at http://www.smoke-free.Illinois.gov

Remove ashtrays from areas in the workplace as smoke-free.

The Smoke-Free Illinois act protects the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. If a business owner fails to comply with the Smoke free Illinois Act, an employee or patron may file a complaint against an individual or business that violates the law by calling 1-866-973-4646 or on their Web site at http://www.smoke-free.illinois.gov.

The Illinois Department of Public health, state-certified local public health departments and local law enforcement agencies are designated enforcement agencies under the Smoke-Free Act.

Businesses found in violation of the Smoke-Free Illinois Act are subject to fines. Fines are assessed at $250 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation and a $2,500 minimum fine for all subsequent violations within one year of the first violation. Fines for individuals who violate the Smoke-Free Illinois Act are not less than $100 and not more than $250.

Employees and patrons who want to quit smoking can call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline toll-free at 1-866-QUIT-YES (866-784-8937) or visit http://www.quityes.org American Lung Association in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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