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The Smoke-free Illinois Act prohibits smoking in virtually all public places and workplaces, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities.

Illinois has taken this important step to protect its residents, workers and visitors from the harmful and hazardous effects of secondhand smoke. (Effective January 1, 2008)

Secondhand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of tobacco products and the smoke exhaled from the lungs by smokers that contains a complex mixture of chemicals, many of which are known to cause cancer.

In a 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General, it was estimated that exposure to secondhand smoke kills at least 65,000 people a year in the United States who do not smoke, including 2,900 in Illinois. Inhaling secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease in healthy nonsmoking adults and increases the risk of serious respiratory problems in children, such as a greater number and severity of asthma attacks and lower respiratory tract infections.

There is no protection afforded by separating smokers from non-smokers within the same enclosed environment, and ventilation systems and air cleaners are not effective at eliminating secondhand smoke. The only effective means of protecting people from secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking indoors, which this law does in regards to public places.

The Smoke-free Illinois website is designed to provide a variety of informational resources. 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.

 

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