A Publication of WTVP

While we as Illinois business owners and advocates were all concerned with the gross receipts tax legislation last year, the Smoke Free Illinois Act (SFIA) was signed into law. The SFIA will affect nearly every entry of every business and place of employment and will also supersede any local smoke-free ordinances that are less restrictive. We, as businesses, must comply or risk daily fines for failure to do so.

What’s the bottom line?
Education and posting signs.

Right now, almost every business needs to be educating their employees of the changes. On January 1st, 2008, SFIA signs must be posted at all entrances of affected businesses. These sign requirements are specific—the classic “No Smoking” sign will not comply.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has provided us with the following Frequently Asked Questions:

Will the Smoke Free Illinois Act replace the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act?

Yes, the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act will be repealed when the Smoke Free Illinois Act takes effect.

When does the Smoke Free Illinois Act go into effect?

January 1, 2008.

Have the administrative rules been codified yet and where can I find them?

The Illinois Department of Public Health is in the process of writing rules which the new law will implement. Once drafted and approved by the State Board of Health, the proposed rules will be published in the Illinois Register and on the Department’s Proposed and Recently Adopted Rules webpage.

Who is responsible for enforcing the Act?

The Illinois Department of Public Health, local public health departments and local law enforcement agencies are required to enforce the Act. These agencies may assess fines for violation of the Act.

Will there be a phone number to call to register complaints?

The Illinois Department of Public Health will establish a telephone number by January 1, 2008, which citizens can call to register complaints.

Who can be fined and what are the fines for violating the act?

Any person, corporation, partnership, association or other entity violating the no-smoking provisions of the Act may be fined by one of the enforcement agencies. Violations occurring on separate days are considered individual violations which can each be ticketed. A person who smokes in a prohibited area will be fined $100 to $250. A person who owns, operates or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment which violates the Act will be fined no less than $250 for the first violation, no less than $500 for the second violation within one year of the first violation and no less than $2,500 for each additional violation within one year after the first violation.

Where will smoking not be allowed?

Smoking will be prohibited in public places, places of employment or within 15 feet of an entrance to a public place or place of employment, unless exempted by the Act. No person may smoke in any vehicle owned, leased or operated by the state or a political subdivision of the state.

Where will be smoking be allowed?
Smoking will be allowed in the following areas:

How does the Act define “smoke” and “smoking?”

“Smoke” and “smoking” mean the carrying, smoking, burning, inhaling or exhaling of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, hookah (e.g., shisha or sheesha), weed, herbs or any other lighted smoking equipment.

Will business owners need to post “No Smoking” signs and remove ashtrays?
Yes, the signage and ashtray requirements are as follows:

Can other non-smoking areas be established?

An employer, owner, occupant, lessee, operator, manager or other person in control of any public place or place of employment may designate non-enclosed areas, including outdoor areas, as areas where smoking is also prohibited, provided signs are conspicuously posted. IBI 

FAQ provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health. More information can be found at