Smoke-free Illinois Act Frequently Asked Questions
Where will smoking be prohibited?
Smoking will not be allowed in any indoor public area, place of employment or vehicle owned, leased or operated by the state or political subdivision of the state.
Do “no smoking” signs have to be posted?
Yes. “No smoking” signs or the international no smoking symbol, consisting of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it, must be clearly and conspicuously posted in each public place covered by the act. Placement of the signs is the responsibility of the owner, operator, manager or other person in control of that place.
Do all bars and restaurants have to be smoke-free?
Yes. Bars, taverns, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, adult entertainment facilities and cabarets, and restaurants, including coffee shops, cafeterias, sandwich stands, and private and public school cafeterias are smoke-free.
Are fraternal organizations exempt from the law?
No. The law defines these types of clubs as public places and they must be smoke-free.
Are membership paid clubs that require a card exempt?
No. There are no exemptions for private clubs.
Do factories have to be smoke-free?
Yes. All indoor workplaces will be smoke free.
Is smoking allowed on loading docks?
No. A loading dock is considered an entrance.
Where can I smoke near a public place or my place of employment?
You must be a minimum distance of 15 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open or ventilation intakes.
Can smoking occur in a private residence?
Smoking is allowed in private residences except when used as a child care, adult day care, or healthcare facility, or any other home-based business open to the public.
What other places are exempt from the law?
Smoking is allowed in the following areas:
- Retail tobacco stores that derive more than 80 percent of its gross revenue from the sale of tobacco products and do not have a liquor, food or restaurant license.
- Private and semi-private rooms in nursing homes or long-term care facilities occupied by one or more persons, all of whom smoke and have requested to be placed in a room where smoking is permitted. The nursing home or long-term care facility must ensure designated smoking rooms comply with other laws and fire protection and life safety codes.
- Up to 25 percent of hotel or motel sleeping rooms may be designated as smoking rooms, provided they are on the same floor, contiguous and smoke from these rooms does not infiltrate into nonsmoking rooms.
How will the act be enforced?
The owner, manager or operator of an area open to the public covered by the act must make a reasonable effort to prevent smoking. The Illinois Department of Public Health, state-certified local public health departments and local law enforcement agencies will enforce the law.
Where can I file a complaint?
Complaints can be filed with the Illinois Department of Public Health on the Web at www.smoke-free.illinois.gov or by telephoning the Department’s toll-free Complaint Line at 866-973-4646. Complaints also can be made to a state-certified local health departments or a local law enforcement.
What are the penalties?
A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited can fined between $100 and $250. A person who owns, operates or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment who violates the act can be fined not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation within one year after the first violation and not less than $2,500 for each additional violation within one year after the first violation.
How can I find out more information about the Smoke-free Illinois Act?
For more information, visit www.smoke-free.illinois.gov or telephone the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Promotion at 217-782-3300.
Where can I get information on quitting smoking?
If you smoke and want to quit, you can call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline at 866-784-8937, toll-free, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.