The Smoke Free Illinois Program
Beginning on January 1, 2008, all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars/taverns, restaurants, private clubs, and casinos, will be smoke-free. Smoking will also be prohibited within 15 feet of all entrances and exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes.
What does the Smoke Free Illinois Act require a proprietor/owner/manager to do?
They must not permit smoking inside a public place, a place of employment or outside within 15 feet from the door, windows that open or ventilation intakes. A proprietor/owner/manager must not permit smoke to drift/infiltrate into a building through an entrance, a window, a ventilation system or other means. They must communicate to all existing employees and all applicants for employment that smoking is prohibited. The Act requires the removal of all ashtrays and that No Smoking signs be posted.
What are the exceptions to the Smoke Free Illinois Act?
The following locations are exempt from the Smoke Free Illinois act:
- Private Residences (except when used as a business open to the public, childcare, adult care, or health care facility)
- Private Vehicles
- No more than 25% of hotel/motel rooms may be permanently designated smoking rooms
- Retail Tobacco Stores
- Private/Semi-Private rooms in nursing homes or long term care facilities
How will the Smoke Free Illinois Act be enforced?
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the state agency responsible for enforcement, however, local health departments and law enforcement, and municipalities are designated as enforcement agents. IDPH will process complaints and document violations. IDPH will refer complaints to the local area health department or local law enforcement for further investigation and to assess penalties.
What are the penalties?
Both the individual as well as the business or establishment can be fined under this law.
- Individual Fines
- $100 – $250
- Business Owner Fines
- First Violation: Not less than $250
- Second Violation: Not less than $500
(Within one year of the first violation.)
- Additional Violations: Not less than $2500
(Each additional violation within one year.)
How can I file a complaint?
Individuals may submit online complaints at http://www.idph.state.il.us/smokefree. A copy of the complaint form is also available on the website to print, complete and mail.
Individuals may call the IDPH toll-free complaint hotline at 866-973-4646 (TTY 800-547-0466, hearing impaired use only).
Complaints can be made to a state-certified local health department or local law enforcement agency.
Does the law prohibit smoking outdoors?
Smoking in outdoor areas is not prohibited. However, the law does prohibit smoking within fifteen (15) feet of all entrances, windows that open, and ventilation intakes.
Do signs need to be posted?
Signs clearly stating smoking is prohibited must be prominently displayed at all public and employee entrances. Signs must bear the international ‘No Smoking’ symbol or the words “No Smoking”, and be no smaller than 5″x7″. The sign should also bear the phone number and website for reporting violations. Letters, numbers and symbols must be of sufficient size to be clearly legible to an individual of normal vision from a distance of 5 feet. In government and public vehicles, the signs must be no smaller than 2″ x 3″ and include the same information.