Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities
Smoking tobacco is the single most important preventable cause of illness and death in the United States. More than 20,000 people in Illinois die each year as a result of cigarette smoking. Nationally, smoking is responsible for one of every five deaths. In fact, cigarette smoking kills more Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, murders, suicides, drugs, and fires combined.
Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities is an Illinois Department of Public Health grant-funded initiative to establish tobacco prevention and control programs to prevent tobacco use among youth, eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke, and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities.
The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is a free resource for tobacco users who want to quit for good. Certified counselors and staff at the Illinois Tobacco Quitline provide the support needed to break the habit. Qualified individuals have access to nicotine replacement products through the mail. Call toll-free 866-784-8937 or visit the website for assistance and qualifications.
Smoke-Free Illinois Act Information
The Smoke-free Illinois Act, effective January 1, 2008, protects the public in Illinois from the harmful effects of exposure to tobacco and second-hand smoke by prohibiting smoking in indoor public places and places of employment, including offices, theaters, museums, libraries, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores, restaurants, bars, private clubs and gaming facilities. Smoking is also prohibited in public conveyances like taxis and buses. Other Smoke-Free Act guidelines include:
- Business owners shall not permit smoking within 15 feet of any entrance, exit, or window that open and ventilation intakes.
- "No smoking" signs are required to be posted at every entrance to a public place or place of employment. These signs are available to download on the Illinois Department of Public Health Website.
- Full text of Smoke-Free Illinois, Public Act 095-0017 can be found online.
- Individuals can file a complaint at the Illinois Department of Public Health's toll-free complaint line at 866-973-4646 or online.
Current Policy Initiatives and Activities in the Tri-County Region
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, there is no safe level of second-hand smoke exposure, including multi-unit housing where secondhand smoke can be a major concern for residents in neighboring apartments, outdoor public space, school campus property, indoor public places and places of employment. Watch a video on smoke-free outdoors.
Peoria City/County Health Department works in a regional collaboration with Tazewell County Health Department, Woodford County Health Department, and community partners on policy initiatives and activities in the following areas:
- Increase the number of smoke-free multi-unit housing polices, like apartment buildings and public housing
- Increase the number of tobacco-free outdoor spaces like parks, outdoor events, and farmer's markets
- Introduce and implement tobacco-free campus polices for businesses, as well as school and college campuses
- Conduct specified enforcement activities for compliance of the Illinois Smoke-free Act on behalf of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Coalition Building for Tobacco-free Policies
The Partnership for a Healthy Community, also known as Healthy HOI, is a community-driven partnership to improve health and wellness in the Heart of Illinois. One of four identified priority areas is Lung Cancer and addresses tobacco-related issues. To find out more about the Partnership activities or participate on the Lung Cancer workgroup to address tobacco-free policies in the Tri-county region, visit www.HealthyHOI.org or email Illinois Tobacco-free Communities in the Peoria region at PeoriaHealth@peoriacounty.org.