Illinois Goes Smoke Free on January 1, 2008..

December 29, 2007 - Illinois Goes Smoke Free on January 1, 2008.. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Illinois will ban virtually all indoor smoking in public spaces, including bars and restaurants. Chicago restricted indoor smoking in 2005, and so far this year, the city has received only 119 smoking-related complaints, the public health department said. Under the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, just about the only places left where you can smoke indoors will be private cars and homes. Smoking will be banned in offices, factory floors, stores, private clubs, prisons, bowling alleys, dormitories, stadiums, casinos, elevators and restrooms. Smoking also will be banned within 15 feet of entrances, exits and windows. Smoking will still be allowed in private rooms in nursing homes, in up to 25 percent of hotel rooms and in tobacco shops and hookah bars that don’t serve food or alcohol. Smokers could be fined as much as $250. Businesses could be fined at least $250 for the first violation and at least $2,500 for a third violation within a year. A 2005 survey found that 72 percent of Illinois adults said smoking should be banned from work and 73 percent said it should be banned from restaurants. (" Happy New Year. Now, put out that cigarette" by JIM RITTER Health Reporter/jritter@suntimes.com, Chicago Sun-Times, December 28, 2007) See related news brief: July 25, 2007. Click on image to enlarge - image Keith Hale/Sun-Times..

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