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Smoking ban edges closer to passage

Friday, Apr 27, 2007

The statewide smoking ban is getting closer to reality

Illinois took another step toward a statewide smoking ban on Thursday, when the House environmental health committee approved it on a 10-to-2 vote. […]

The Senate has already approved SB500, which would prohibit smoking in all Illinois workplaces and indoor public areas, including bars, restaurants, casinos and bowling alleys. Smoking also would be banned within 15 feet of any entrance to those facilities and in all government vehicles.

Surprisingly enough, the governor has been rather noncommittal on this issue…

“The governor’s been supportive of public health initiatives in the past that deal with smoking,” said Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff. “But we still need to take a closer look at the particulars of this bill.”

The bill also bans smoking in riverboat casinos, which doesn’t please some members with boats in their districts

State Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, said he wished there were more exceptions to the ban. He worries about towns on the Illinois border that could lose business to bars or casinos on the other side. ’’I wish there’d been more flexibility,’’ he said.

The Peoria Journal-Star reports that most of that area’s legislators are apparently against a smoking ban, despite a recent show of support in Peoria…

(L)awmakers’ opinions apparently weren’t influenced by a recent advisory referendum in which Peoria voters said 2-1 that they support a statewide smoking ban. […]

“Sen. Koehler did vote yes. He was the only senator to vote yes who has a casino in his district. That was huge,” said Kelli Evans, health initiatives manager for the 19 downstate counties of the American Cancer Society.

State Reps. David Leitch, R-Peoria; Aaron Schock, R-Peoria; Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, and Keith Sommer, R-Morton, all said Thursday that they plan to vote against the smoking ban.

The bill could receive a vote in the full House as early as next week, according to many of the reports above.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - cermak_rd - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    Why not leave this decision up to the communities, counties or towns? I see no reason for the state to make this decision for all areas. Surely the governments of the miscellaneous communities can best determine the impact of a ban and choose to enact one or not.

  2. - np - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 1:59 pm:

    The reason is most communities would rather have a statewide ban which is the case in Peoria. If Peoria bans smoking, but East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Bartonville, and West Peoria don’t, tehre could be a mass exodus to these other communities. A statewide an levels the playing field for everybody. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis has been adament about his support for a statewide ban, but he won’t ban smoking just for Peoria.

  3. - Huh? - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 2:16 pm:

    The motto of Illinois should be - “Welcome to the Nanny State, where all your needs will be taken care of, even the ones you didn’t know you needed.”

  4. - 105th Blues - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 2:45 pm:

    18 other states already have a statewide smoking ban and last I checked, there hasn’t been any reports of people standing in bread lines or boarded up businesses as a result of the smoking bans.

  5. - A Citizen - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 2:48 pm:

    To forfeit all or part of the tobacco tax funds, that is the question. On a pure health basis, tobacco/smoking should be totally banned. Yet it remains a legal substance. What hypocracy! I would go on but it is time for a smoke break.

  6. - Skeeter - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 4:49 pm:

    At risk of getting off point, since we have smokers responding to this post, could any of you explain why you think you have a right to toss your cigarette butts and lighters right on the sidewalk?

    Is there some connection between the desire to smoke and the desire to throw trash on the ground?

    Thanks for your insights on this matter.

  7. - A Citizen - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 6:06 pm:

    Yo Skeet - check w/ ur doc on gettin a VITRIOLECTOMY, please, thanks.

  8. - Sage - Friday, Apr 27, 07 @ 6:41 pm:

    Why are barefoot people banned from restaurants but not smokers? Which behavior causes cancer and respiratory problems?

    It is idiotic to wrap the preservation of smoker’s “special rights” in freedom. We restrict all kinds of behavior in public places that is legal in some places–sex for instance.
    And cell phone usuage is another habit which is prohibited in many restaurants—BECAUSE it interferes with other peoples’ rights!

    No one has the right to interfere with another person’s rights.

    To say an establishment should be able to determine the policy is the same as saying establishments also ought to be able to deny entry for blacks. We got past that a long time ago when we made everyone’s rights equal when entering public establishments.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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