Smoke-free Illinois Act Turns Ten Years Old

By Sally Weldin, Sr. Human Resource Specialist
Published April 10, 2018

Smoke-free Illinois actIn January 2008, the Smoke-free Illinois Act effectively banned smoking in Illinois workplaces and public areas.  

Under the Act, places of employment are defined as private or public employer-controlled areas that employees are required to enter, leave, or pass through. These areas include, but are not limited to, offices, work areas, restrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, break rooms, and cafeterias. Outdoor smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of business entrances and exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes.

Public areas include, but are not limited to, restaurants, elevators, indoor theatres, libraries, museums, educational facilities, schools, health care facilities or clinics, financial institutions, public restrooms, public waiting areas, lobbies, reception areas, churches, and public conveyances.  

To comply with the Act, business owners must:

  • Not permit smoking inside their businesses and within 15 feet of business entrances, exits, windows which open, and ventilation intakes;  
  • Post “No Smoking” signs at each entrance to the business or public place indicating smoking is prohibited; and
  • Remove indoor ashtrays. 

Outdoor smoking shelters are not required to be provided for employees. Business owners who violate the Act are subject to fines, ranging from $250.00 up to $2,500 for repeat violations. The Illinois Department of Public Health enforces the Act.

Management Association members with questions about the Smoke Free Illinois Act can contact us at 800-448-4584 or

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