(410 ILCS 82/5)
The General Assembly finds that tobacco smoke is
a harmful and dangerous carcinogen to human beings and a hazard to public health. Secondhand tobacco smoke causes at least 65,000 deaths each year from heart disease and lung cancer according to the National Cancer Institute. Secondhand tobacco smoke causes heart disease, stroke, cancer, sudden infant death syndrome, low-birth-weight in infants, asthma and exacerbation of asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia in children and adults. Secondhand tobacco smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Illinois workers exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke are at increased risk of premature death. An estimated 2,900 Illinois citizens die each year from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
The General Assembly also finds that the United States Surgeon General's 2006 report has determined that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; the scientific evidence that secondhand smoke causes serious diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and asthma, is massive and conclusive; separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure; smoke-free workplace policies are effective in reducing secondhand smoke exposure; and smoke-free workplace policies do not have an adverse economic impact on the hospitality industry.
The General Assembly also finds that the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that secondhand smoke cannot be reduced to safe levels in businesses by high rates of ventilation. Air cleaners, which are capable only of filtering the particulate matter and odors in smoke, do not eliminate the known toxins in secondhand smoke. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) bases its ventilation standards on totally smoke-free environments because it cannot determine a safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, which contains cancer-causing chemicals, and ASHRAE acknowledges that technology does not exist that can remove chemicals that cause cancer from the air. A June 30, 2005 ASHRAE position document on secondhand smoke concludes that, at present, the only means of eliminating health risks associated with indoor exposure is to eliminate all smoking activity indoors.
(Source: P.A. 95-17, eff. 1-1-08.)