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Illinois celebrates smoke free anniversary

Publication Date: 2012-12-27
  • Publication: Mount Vernon (IL) Register-News

Five years have passed since the Smoke Free Illinois Act was passed. Since then, there have been mixed reviews on how businesses have been affected.

Judy McLaughlin, a health educator with the Jefferson County Health Department, said most businesses in Mt. Vernon are in compliance with the law set in place five years ago.

“A lot of places have been talking about how much healthier it is for their employees and their patrons,” McLaughlin said. “We are just seeing it evolve.”

The employees at the health department are still working to provide education to restaurants, bars and other businesses that may be have complaints about compliance or other violations of the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

According to a press release by the Jefferson County Health Department, the law was designed to help protect employees and citizens from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

The health department will investigate any complaints and also ask that anyone with a complaint about smoking law compliance contact them. If the business is found to be in breaking the law, citations or fines will be issued by the inspector, McLaughlin said.

She also said the health department offers smoking cessation options and with new year resolutions coming up, it is a good place to start for those who do smoke.

“We are just encouraging people to quit smoking,” she said. “It’s a good way to start the new year off healthier.”...