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Claypool softens his opposition to smoking ban

Thursday, December 08, 2005
Daily Southtown
by Jonathan Lipman

Prospects for a Cook County smoking ban improved Wednesday as one commissioner changed position just a day after the ban was proposed.
Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago) had said he opposed the proposed ban, which could affect bars and restaurants in many suburbs. But he said his comments printed Wednesday in the Daily Southtown got the attention of smoking opponents.

"I got calls from a number of my constituents, who reminded me that this is a public health issue," Claypool said. "I have acceded to their wishes to take an open mind on this. I will sit down with Commissioner (Mike) Quigley and look at both sides of the issue."

Nine commissioners on the 17-member board have already expressed at least some support for Quigley's proposal.

Quigley (D-Chicago) said Tuesday he would continue to advocate a total ban, without any of the compromise provisions adopted by the city Wednesday.
"It's certainly our intention to cover everything outside the city of Chicago," Quigley said. "The city took years, we expect to take months."

Some Chicago aldermen said they thought a countywide ban would level the playing field for city businesses and urged the county to adopt an ordinance identical to the one passed by city council.

Both Quigley (D-Chicago) and Claypool are vying for the Democratic nomination to county president, along with incumbent John Stroger.

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