Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Last year more people used the County's forest preserves than visited Yellowstone National Park.
   
     
     
     



Smoking ban goes statewide in January

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Daily Southtown
Editorial

The issue: Governor signs state law banning smoking in nearly all public places.
We say: The measure is in the best interests of the residents of Illinois, and a statewide ban eliminates the fears of some businesses that local ordinances would drive their clientele to other communities.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the Smoke-Free Illinois Act into law Monday, exacting what one of its sponsors -- state Sen. Terry Link (D-Waukegan) -- called the most restrictive smoking law in the nation.
The law bans smoking in almost all public places, including bars and restaurants. It includes exemptions for private homes and vehicles, some hotel rooms and some private or semi-private nursing home rooms.
Almost two months after passage of the legislation by both chambers of the General Assembly, we were beginning to wonder if the bill had somehow gotten tangled up in the state's budget stalemate. But Monday the governor put his signature on the measure.
Effective Jan. 1, 2008, anyone who smokes in a public place will be subject to fines between $100 and $250, as will the proprietors of such places if they fail to enforce the law. A business found to be in violation of the law a third time faces a fine of $2,500.
As we've said before, we believe the statewide smoking ban will save lives. Employees of restaurants and bars, for example, no longer will have to decide between their jobs and being exposed against their wishes to secondhand smoke.
The new law cites the surgeon general's most recent report on secondhand smoke, which concluded that other people's smoke was a leading cause of lung cancer, heart disease, asthma and bronchitis, and an Environmental Protection Agency finding that there was no effective way to get cigarette smoke out of the air. Ventilators, air scrubbers and separate areas for smokers within an enclosed space all are ineffective at protecting non-smokers.
In our view, the surgeon general's report should have settled once and for all the debate over the health risks associated with secondhand smoke. Of course, the debate in Illinois over the past year has been over whether local laws against smoking in public were unfair to businesses, putting them at competitive disadvantages. We thought that was a legitimate point and an argument in favor of delaying municipal smoking bans and waiting for a statewide law.
Now that the entire state is smoke-free, the so-called "playing field" has been leveled as much as state government is capable of doing so. There probably still will be some smokers who will cross the state borders to find a bar or a restaurant where they can smoke. But smokers represent a small group of all citizens now, and their numbers are shrinking. And those who are willing to travel long distances to sit in a smoke-filled tavern are now relatively few in number.
One question that still will have to be answered is how the ban will be enforced. We doubt the state police can spare officers to run surprise smoke checks on restaurants or other businesses; we know few local police departments have that kind of excess manpower. And based on the objections raised by business owners during the debate on a smoking ban, we're skeptical that many of them will spend a lot of effort on self-enforcement of the law, unless their clientele insist. And that may be how the law ultimately is enforced.
The fact is that the research on smoking and on secondhand smoke is leading more smokers to quit. Only about 20 percent of Americans smoke cigarettes today, and among more educated groups, the percentage is even lower. It will continue to decline, and eventually there will be little economic incentive for a business owner to risk alienating the non-smokers in his market.


Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019
WTTW News

System News
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ News

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP