Article

The Smoke Free Illinois Act

October 01, 2010

On January 1, 2008, the Smoke Free Illinois Act (Act, or SFIA) will take effect, replacing the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act. Smoking will be prohibited in an indoor public place, places of employment, and/or, within 15 feet of entrances, exits, windows, and ventilation intakes to a public place or place of employment, unless exempted by the act. No person will be allowed to smoke in any vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state.

This DataPoint is intended to provide a range of important details regarding the Act.

Definitions

  • "Smoke" or "smoking" means the carrying, smoking, burning, inhaling, or exhaling of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, hookah (e.g., shisha or sheesha), weed, herbs, or any other lighted smoking equipment.
  • "Public place" means that portion of any building or vehicle used by and open to the public, regardless of whether the building or vehicle is owned in whole or in part by private persons or entities, the State of Illinois, or any other public entity and regardless of whether a fee is charged for admission, including a minimum distance, as set forth in Section 70 of this Act, of 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. A "public place" does not include a private residence unless the private residence is used to provide licensed child care, foster care, or other similar social service care on the premises. A "public place" includes, but is not limited to, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, offices, commercial establishments, elevators, indoor theaters, libraries, museums, concert halls, public conveyances, educational facilities, nursing homes, auditoriums, enclosed or partially enclosed sports arenas, meeting rooms, schools, exhibition halls, convention facilities, polling places, private clubs, gaming facilities, all government owned vehicles and facilities, including buildings and vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the State or State subcontract, healthcare facilities or clinics, enclosed shopping centers, retail service establishments, financial institutions, educational facilities, ticket areas, public hearing facilities, public restrooms, waiting areas, lobbies, bars, taverns, bowling alleys, skating rinks, reception areas, and no less than 75% of the sleeping quarters within a hotel, motel, resort, inn, lodge, bed and breakfast, or other similar public accommodation that are rented to guests, but excludes private residences.
  • "Place of employment" is any area under the control of a private or public employer that employees must enter, leave or pass through during the course of their employment, including a minimum distance of 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited.
  • "Employer" means a person, business, partnership, association, or corporation, including a municipal corporation, trust or nonprofit entity that employs the services of one or more individuals.
  • "Restaurant" means (i) an eating establishment, including, but not limited to, coffee shops, cafeterias, sandwich stands, and private and public school cafeterias, that gives or offers for sale food to the public, guests, or employees, and (ii) a kitchen or catering facility in which food is prepared on the premises for serving elsewhere. "Restaurant" includes a bar area within the restaurant.
  • "Bar" means an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests on the premises and that derives no more than 10% of its gross revenue from the sale of food consumed on the premises. "Bar" includes, but is not limited to, taverns, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, adult entertainment facilities, and cabarets.

No-Smoking Signs and Ashtray Removal

Business owners will need to post "No Smoking" signs and remove ashtrays in each public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited. The owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of the facility will be responsible for posting the signs and removing ashtrays from any area where smoking is prohibited. The signage and ashtray requirements are:

  • "No Smoking" signs or the international "No Smoking" symbol, consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red across it, must be clearly and conspicuously posted in each public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited.
  • Each public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited must have clearly posted at every entrance a conspicuous sign clearly stating that smoking is prohibited.
  • All ashtrays must be removed from areas where smoking is prohibited.
  • Additional non-smoking areas may be established
    • An employer, owner, occupant, lessee, operator, manager, or other person in control of any public place or place of employment may designate a non-enclosed area of a public place or place of employment, including outdoor areas, as an area where smoking also is prohibited provided signs are conspicuously posted.

Exemptions

Smoking will be allowed in the following areas:

  • Private residences or dwelling places, except when used as a child care, adult day care, or health care facility or any other home-based business open to the public.
  • Retail tobacco stores* in operation prior to January 1, 2008.
    * Defined in the act as an establishment that derives more than 80 percent of its gross revenue from the sale of loose tobacco, plants, or herbs and cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and in other smoking devices for burning tobacco and related smoking accessories and in which the sale of other products in merely incidental. "Retail tobacco store" does not include a tobacco department or section of a larger commercial establishment or any establishment with any type of liquor, food, or restaurant license.
  • Private and semi-private rooms in nursing homes and long-term care facilities occupied by one or more persons, all of whom are smokers and have requested in writing to be placed in or to remain in a room where smoking is permitted and the smoke shall not infiltrate other areas of the nursing home.
  • Hotel and motel sleeping rooms rented to guests and designated as smoking rooms, provided that all smoking rooms on the same floor must be contiguous and smoke from these rooms most not infiltrate into nonsmoking rooms or other areas where smoking is prohibited. Not more than 25 percent of the rooms in a hotel or motel may be designated as rooms where smoking is allowed. The status of rooms as smoking and nonsmoking may not be changed, except to permanently add additional nonsmoking rooms.

Enforcement and Penalties

The Illinois Department of Public Health, state certified local public health departments, and local law enforcement agencies are required to enforce the act. These agencies may assess fines for violation of the act. The administrative rules have not been codified yet. The Illinois Department of Public Health is in the process of writing rules to implement the new law. Once drafted and approved by the State Board of Health, the proposed rules will be published in the Illinois Register and on the Department's Proposed and Recently Adopted Rules Web page: http://www.idph.state.il.us/rulesregs/proposedrules.htm

Complaints

  • Complaints of violations may be registered by any person and Illinois Department of Public Health will establish a telephone number by January 1, 2008, for persons to call and register a complaint.
  • Any of the departments or agencies that enforce the Act, or any individual personally affected by repeated violations of the Act may file an action in a circuit court to enjoin further violations.

Fines

  • Any person, corporation, partnership, association or other entity violating the no smoking provisions of the act may be fined by one of the enforcement agencies.
  • Each day that a violation occurs is a separate violation.
  • A person who smokes in a prohibited area shall be fined from $100 to $250.
  • A person who owns, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment that violates the act will not be fined not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation within one year after the first violation, and not less the $2,500 for each additional violation within one year after the first violation.

Summary of Changes

The Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act currently permits smoking in many public areas and workplaces including:

  • Bars and bowling alleys whose primary business is selling alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises
  • Private enclosed offices occupied by smokers even though visited by non-smokers
  • Factories, warehouses and similar business not usually frequented by the general public

    None of these exemptions will be allowed under the new SFIA.
     

  • Whereas the Illinois Clean Air Act allowed for the establishment of posted smoking areas within public places and workplaces (i.e. a break room or portion of a cafeteria), the SFIA will not allow these dedicated smoking areas to be established. The SFIA prohibits smoking in all indoor public places and workplaces. Under the SFIA, even non-enclosed and outdoor areas may be designated as non-smoking provided that no smoking signs are posted by the owner, occupier, manager, or other person in control of the area.
  • Whereas a person, corporation, partnership, association or other entity, who violated the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act was guilty of a petty offense; the SFIA provides separate requirements for fining both those who smoke in violation of the Act and the owners or operators of the public place or place of employment where a violation occurs.

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