Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another article in relation to the upcoming IL state ban

This is an article worth sharing as a blog post. I ain't gonna comment on it. Because I've commented on my views of the upcoming state ban millions of times in here. 2008 will be a lot similar to how I would've been treated if I lived in the 50s and 60s. But this time it's smokers getting treated like folks who don't deserve to live in America of the 21st century.

I don't mind saying that 1 million times if I have to. At least some smokers online are starting to realize that smokers are indeed the 21st century version of Blacks living in the US.

Illinois, Chicago prepare to go smoke free
Wednesday, December 19, 2007 | 5:48 PM

Chicago and the entire state of Illinois are less than two weeks away from going smoke-free in all public places.

There are questions about how the city and state plan to enforce that new ban. The smoking ban goes into effect on January 1.

Restaurants, bars and other businesses are preparing for the switch as concern remains over how it will impact the bottom line. Illinois will join 21 other states that are smoke free. New Year's Eve means lights out.
Harry Caray's at Dearborn and Kinzie has changed with the times. Years ago, only 10 percent of the restaurant was nonsmoking. Now, due to customers' requests, the entire restaurant is nonsmoking. And in compliance with a city ordinance, the only place where smoking is allowed is at the bar. "I haven't found anyone who doesn't think this is a good thing now. The customers are happy. I know a lot of customers have already anticipated this and quit smoking just so they won't even think about it," said Grant DePorter, Harry Caray's Restaurant Group.

The much-debated law means smoking in all public places and places of employment becomes illegal in the new year. Smokers and businesses violating the law could face fines. State legislators won't hammer out details of the law until January 9. "There's some clarity the rules will help with. But as far as the impact on the law and the general public, there won't be any. The law will be effective as the legislature and the governor decided," said Michael Mark, American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association of Illinois Greater Chicago supports the law in hopes of improving the health of Illinoisans. "If you follow the manufacturer' s suggested directions on how to use their product, the only product in the world designed to kill you," said Mark. Back at Harry Caray's, the law is met with varied reaction. "The legislature has struck the right balance by favoring nonsmokers and employees of establishments where smoking otherwise would occur," said nonsmoker John Jacoby. "Indiana is about 10 to 20 miles over the border. And I'm a regular casino visitor. And they're going to be getting almost all my business after January 1," said smoker Paul Gleeson. "And I'm hoping to quit anyway, probably going to be good for me. I hate going home with smoky hair. So I'm not too bothered by it. I've lived in California for a long time, so I was used to it," said smoker Erin Walsh.

The city of Chicago is working on its enforcement of the new law, deciding on whether or not there will be a grace period or if starting at 12 a.m. on January 1, bars and smokers will be held accountable. There could be areas designated for smoking. For instance, if there is an establishment that has an outdoor area. If they are 15 feet from the entrance, there could be a smoking area.

(Copyright ©2007 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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