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SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS ACT

Un-Happy New Year for Cigar Smokers

Illinois Cigar Smokers Held Hostage

Day: 3517

The Smoke Free Illinois Act bans smoking in all public indoor places as of January 1st 2008 including bars, restaurants, businesses AND PRIVATE CLUBS.
See: Smoke Free Illinois Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For all of us Cigar Smokers, this is not good news. These are the remaining places you can still smoke cigars legally in Illinois:

  • At home
  • Your vehicle
  • A hotel or nursing home room on a smoking floor
  • Outside a public building as long as you are a minimum distance of 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open or ventilation intakes
  • Tobacco stores

The law should have allowed for PRIVATE SMOKE CLUBS that only accepted and admitted members that approve of smoking. Instead, the act specifically prohibits smoking in private clubs.

This is ridiculous! Why can't smokers get together - far away from all the cry babies - and light up a stogie? Not allowing PRIVATE SMOKE CLUBS goes beyond keeping second hand smoke away from non-smokers. It's a first step militant anti-smokers have taken towards banning smoking altogether. Representative William B. Black has sponsored House Bill HB4104 that would allow for Private Smoke Clubs if three fifths of the members approve. Hopefully, Illinois law makers will approve this bill.

The only current exemption that is "friendly" to cigar smokers is tobacco stores and even those have restrictions. If they existed as tobacco stores prior to 2008, they are grandfathered. Otherwise, they must be in a standalone building where the smoke cannot affect other surrounding businesses. Also, the law prohibits those establishments to have a liquor, food or restaurant license.

Feb 2008 Update

As of Feb 6 2008, there will be a hearing to discuss HB4104 by the Environmental Health Committee in Springfield, IL. Stay tuned for more details. Additionally, there is at least one other bill under consideration that would allow smoking in private establishments is passed See the Bills.

March 2008 Update

As of March 2008, the bill was re-referred to the Rules Committee.

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