December 19, 2007
THE SMOKE FREE ILLINOIS ACT TAKES EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2008
It’s the law but the regulations (the detailed procedures to comply with the law) have not been
finalized. In the meantime, the Smoke Free Illinois Act still goes into effect on January 1st.
The following information (based on the proposed regulations) will assist our members in
understanding the Smoke Free Illinois Act, as well as provide recommendations to aid in
complying with the law. When the final regulations are issued by the State, PII will advise our
members of any changes or new requirements.
If you have questions about the Smoke Free Illinois Act, please contact Joanne Rock, Executive
Vice President, PII, at 312-580-3032 or email@example.com.
Let’s get started…
The Facts, Ma’am, Just the Facts
As of Tuesday, January 1, 2008, no smoking will be allowed in public places, places of
employment and governmental vehicles, unless specifically exempted. (Public Act 95-0017)
Does this mean that I can’t even smoke in my own home?
While the smoking ban includes private spaces, you are allowed to smoke in your own home—as
they say ‘A man’s home is his castle.’ However, refer to the next question for limitations on
smoking in the home.
So, where can people smoke indoors?
The Act specifies just a handful of places where smoking will be allowed:
• As stated above, smoking is allowed in private residences or dwelling places, except
when the residence is used as a child care, adult day care, or health care facility or any
other home-based business open to the public.
• Retail tobacco stores in operation prior to January 1, 2008 may permit smoking.
• Smoking is permitted in private and semi-private rooms in nursing homes and long-term
care facilities occupied by one or more persons, with certain restrictions.
• Smoking is allowed in hotel and motel rooms designated as smoking rooms, again, with
There are already No Smoking laws on the books all over the state—what does this law do?
The Smoke Free Illinois Act (the Act) supersedes all local and state laws (unless those laws are
more stringent than the Act).
So, how does this law actually apply to my graphic arts company?
If your facility is located in Illinois, then the Act applies to you—no smoking will be allowed in
your facility as of January 1, 2008. Even if your employees all agree that they want to allow
smoking in a certain area of your company, it’s against the law.
Who’s going to report me if someone smokes in my building?
A complaint may be filed by anyone witnessing a violation of the law. This could be an
employee or a visitor to your company. The state’s made it pretty easy to report a violation. A
person can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 866-973-4646 or get a complaint form
online at www.smoke-free.illinois.gov. The Illinois Department of Public Health, local public
health departments, and local law enforcement agencies are required to enforce the Act and have
the power to assess fines for violations.
What sort of fines are we looking at here?
The fines can add up fast – each day that a violation occurs is a separate violation. A person who
smokes in a prohibited area is looking at a fine from $100 to $250. A person who controls a
public place or place of employment that violates the Act will be fined at least $250 for the
first violation, at least $500 for the second violation within one year after the first violation,
and at least $2,500 for each additional violation within one year after the first violation. (Still
with us? Let’s say employee Jane complains to the Illinois Department of Public Health that
employee Sally smoked in a prohibited area in your plant on January 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. That’s
four days of violations. Sally is looking at $400 to $1,000 in fines. The company owner/manager
is looking at least $250 + $500 + $2,500 + $2,500 or $5,750 in fines.
That’s ridiculous! I can’t watch each and every employee every hour of the day!
You’re right and this is one of the reasons why the regulations on how to comply with the Act
haven’t been finalized. There are many issues surrounding the realities of proving a complaint,
who is responsible (what if the owner/manager of the company isn’t onsite when the violation
takes place?), how long it will take for an official to investigate the complaint, and more. Bars
and restaurants are having the most difficulty with the enforcement aspects of the Act.
We’ve been smoke-free for years at our plant—do we have to do anything new?
Maybe. The Act specifies signage requirements and mandates no smoking within 15 feet of any
entrance to your facility. Every entry door to your company is required to have a No Smoking
sign posted on the door. We recommend posting that sign on both the outside and inside of all of
The sign must be at least 5”x7”, say “No Smoking” and/or show the international No
Smoking symbol. The sign must also show the Illinois Department of Public Health’s phone
number to make a complaint, the Department’s website to get a complaint form and be
clearly legible from five feet. You may create your own signs or purchase them from a vendor.
PII has a sample No Smoking sign here. (http://www.pii.org/library/smoke-free/no-smoking-
sign-sample.doc) We have also provided the sample sign in Spanish
(http://www.pii.org/library/smoke-free/no-smoking-sign-sample-spanish.doc), although this not
required by the law or included in the proposed rules. And, all ashtrays must be removed from
your building. By the way, you can prohibit smoking on your entire property, including
outdoors, provided signs are conspicuously posted (again, be sure to remove all ashtrays).
We do have smokers on staff; do I have to allow them smoke breaks?
First, there is no state law that says you have to provide breaks to your employees, whether they
smoke or not. If you do want to permit smoke breaks, an employee who wishes to smoke must
exit the building and smoke at least 15 feet away from any entrance doors, ventilation intakes or
What should I do about the employees who don’t smoke and are annoyed because the smokers
are taking breaks?
The law doesn’t address this human relations issue. You could allow non-smoking employees the
same break as the smokers get – they can go outside too. If you do allow regular breaks, then
some employees may choose to go outside to smoke; some employees may choose to take their
break in the building.
Do I need to have an official company smoking policy now?
Because this is a statewide law, you do not necessarily need to establish a smoking policy.
However, you may want to communicate to your employees that violation of the smoking ban
will result in disciplinary action. A sample No Smoking policy is available here.
Are there any resources to help my company go smoke free?
The American Cancer Society has published a guide Making Your Workplace Smokefree. You
may download the .pdf here. (http://www.pii.org/library/smoke-free/making-your-workplace-
What do I do about customers, truck drivers and other people who come to my plant?
You will have posted No Smoking signs on all of your entry doors as notice to visitors. If
someone should be smoking, advise them that your building is a No Smoking facility, in
accordance with state law, and they must extinguish their cigarette (pipe, etc.). Be aware that the
no smoking ban includes your loading dock—those doors open into your facility. We suggest
that you post No Smoking signs next to the overhead doors in addition to the required signage on
the entry door to the shipping/receiving area.
Who can answer my questions?
at the State at PII
Illinois Department of Public Health Joanne Rock
535 West Jefferson Street Executive Vice President
Springfield, Illinois 62761 Printing Industry of IL/IN Association
Phone 217-782-4977 70 East Lake Street, Suite 540
Fax 217-782-3987 Phone 312-580-3032
TTY 800-547-0466 Fax 312-704-5025
To review the Illinois Smoke Free Act, P.A. 95-0017, click here.
To review the proposed rules, click here.
This document and related document links are provided on the PII website at www.pii.org >
Info/Document Library > Government Affairs/Legislation.
GOVERN\Illinois\IL No Smoking Ban Info.doc 12.18.07