IDPH 125th


The state launched the Illinois Smoke-Free Restaurant Recognition Program in 2000 to encourage restaurant owners to adopt a smoke-free policy for the benefit of patrons and employees.

The Department began the initiative to highlight restaurants in Illinois that have voluntarily gone smoke-free, to provide information about restaurants that are smoke-free and to raise public awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Second-hand smoke is a combination of the smoke from a burning cigarette and the smoke exhaled by the smoker. It contaminates the air and is retained in clothing, curtains and furniture. More importantly, it represents a proven health hazard.

In Illinois, 2,650 nonsmokers die each year from disease caused by inhaling second-hand smoke and 19,000 smokers die from smoking-related illnesses.

The U.S. Surgeon General has reported second-hand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, of which, at least 43 are known to cause cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that second-hand smoke is made up of an unhealthy combination of nicotine, carbon monoxide and cancer-causing agents. The EPA found that second-hand smoke worsened the condition of children with asthma and children exposed to second-hand smoke may have higher incidence of bronchitis, pneumonia and middle ear infections. The New England Journal of Medicine has reported that a non-smoker’s risk of heart disease can increase by 25 percent with exposure to second-hand smoke.

Establishments choosing to participate in the program receive a certificate signed by the Governor and Director of Public Health designating them as smoke-free restaurants and are included in a list on the Department’s Web site. The first smoke-free restaurant certificates were awarded in May 2000 and by 2003 more than 4,000 restaurants in Illinois have chosen to be smoke-free.

... Years Ago in Public Health

A Timeline of the Illinois Department of Public Health

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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