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A smoke-free state?

Publication Date: 8/20/2006
  • Author:Rebecca Cho
  • Publication:Northwest Indiana News

Illinois State representatives try to get bill passed that bans smoking statewide

With almost half of the state's population under local smoke-free ordinances, Illinois is closer to passing a statewide smoking ban than ever before, said local representatives of the American Lung Association.

State Rep. Marlow H. Colvin, D-Chicago, who co-sponsored a bill last session calling for a statewide smoking ban, said he expects Illinois to become the 15th state to adopt such a law within the next five years.

The statewide smoke-free bill, introduced by State Rep. Annazette Collins, D-Chicago, went to a Illinois House committee in January, but never made it to a vote. The bill called for all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, to be smoke-free. Under current state law, smoking is restricted to designated areas, but not prohibited in public places.

Kathy Drea, director of public policy for the American Lung Association's Illinois chapter, said the drive behind a statewide smoking ban has been building in the past year, due in part to a state law implemented in January that gives cities the right to pass smoking bans in public places.