House committee OK's statewide smoking ban - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Springfield, IL

House committee OK's statewide smoking ban

House committee OK's statewide smoking ban
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois House committee approved banning public smoking statewide Wednesday. The Environmental Health Committee vote eight-to-zero to approve Representative Karen Yarbrough's plan.

The Maywood Democrat wants to prohibit smoking everywhere but private residences, existing tobacco stores and designated rooms in nursing homes and hotels.

Yarbrough says 65,000 nonsmoking Americans die annually from breathing second-hand smoke -- 2,900 in Illinois.

But two business owners in Springfield -- which banned public smoking in September -- say their businesses are losing money and they might have to go out of business. Liquor industry lobbyist Steve Riedl says a ban would "devastate" taverns and restaurants.

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