Illinois Snuffs Out Smoking - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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Illinois Snuffs Out Smoking

Illinois Snuffs Out Smoking
By: Erica Byfield & Associated Press

Ill. - Public places in Illinois will soon be forced to go smoke-free.

Governor Rod Blagojevich today signed the Smoke-Free Illinois Act, which will ban smoking statewide in all public places, including bars, restaurants and work places.

The ban goes into effect January 1st and trumps most local ordinances, including those that allowed smoking bans to be phased in or exempted businesses with air filtration systems.

The new ban snuffs out smoking in all public places.  That includes restaurants, bars, work places, and even casinos.

"We've been preparing for it for a little while now because we knew it was coming," said Mick Rick, the senior vice-president of Harrah's Metropolis.

He said when the time comes, smoking will move off the gaming floor.

"It will be outside, enclosed and heated away from the elements so that it will be very comfortable for out players to take a few steps right outside the boat," Rick said. 

Under the law, people will still be allowed to smoke in their homes, cars, outdoors, at retail tobacco shops and in certain hotel or motel rooms.

Smokers who violate the law could be fined between $100 and $250. And businesses who repeatedly violate the law could be fined at least $2,500.

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