Illinois municipalities can now ban smoking
Springfield, Ill. – Cities and towns in Illinois will now be allowed to pass their own smoking bans, under legislation that Governor Rod Blagojevich signed Wednesday.
The new law overturns a 1989 law that kept the state's 1,200 cities, towns, and villages to restrict tobacco use.
Blagojevich signed the bill despite expressing concern over the potential economic drag on communities that ban smoking.
The towns will be able to ban smoking, starting January 1.
The measure was passed by the Legislature this spring. It sparked a debate pitting public health advocates' concerns over second hand smoke against the food and beverage industry. The business sector argued smoking bans would trample free enterprise and drain money from local economies.
In Missouri, Arnold and Ballwin have enacted smoking bans, and St. Louis County is considering one.