Smoke-free Illinois Act signed into law

Governor Blagojavich signs the Smoke-free Illinois Act (PA 95-0017) into law, making all restaurants, bars, and other workplaces in Illinois 100%.  The law is considered the strongest smoke-free law in the country, as it includes casinos and private clubs in its list of required smoke-free venues.  The bill passed both houses of the Illinois legislature in May of 2007 after a year-long campaign lead by ICAT members and supported by more than 450 organizations, and tens of thousands of advocates.  The law requires all publically-accessible indoor spaces to be smoke-free, including all workplaces, restaurants, bars, hospitality venues, casinos, sporting venues, museums, libraries, private clubs, and shopping centers, and no smoking within 15 feet of openings to applicable buildings. The bill sets the floor for smoke-free requirements for the state and authorized all local governments, homerule and non-homerule alike, to adopt stronger smoke-free protections for their jurisdictions.  In 2015, Illinois Department of Public Health issued rules for administration of the act.  The rules clarify, among other things, the definition of enclosed areas so as to close a loophole in the law for outdoor smoking huts.  Since its inception, the law has been subject to numerous attempts – legislative and judicial – to weaken the law.  RHA and ICAT partners have made defending the smoke-free act as their top policy priority each year and have successfully fought back against these shortsighted efforts.