Senator Durbin Commends Illinois for Winning ANR Smokefree Challenge Award
Publication Date: 3/15/2007
March 15, 2007
Statement for the Record
Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I rise to commend the great state of Illinois for receiving the National Award for Passing Most Local Smokefree Laws in 2006. This honor was awarded to Illinois by the national organization Americans for Nonsmokers Rights.
Last year, a record breaking 36 Illinois cities and counties enacted smokefree laws, more than any other state in the nation. In doing so, Illinois has taken a firm stance against the devastating consequences that smoking has on our communities.
The 2006 Surgeon General's Report, "The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke," concluded that smoking rooms and ventilation systems cannot protect people from secondhand smoke. The report reaffirmed previous health findings that secondhand smoke causes heart disease, cancer, respiratory problems, and even death.
I am honored to acknowledge the tireless efforts of public health advocates and state legislators who helped make it possible. Before 2005, Illinois communities were preempted from passing local laws. Now, the local community has the right to deal with this important issue and help improve the health of millions of Illinoisans. The following communities have enacted smokefree laws in the state:
Elk Grove Village
Again, I extend my deepest congratulations to the citizens of Illinois, who now can breathe a little easier.