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Illinois Senate OKs Statewide Smoking Limits


The Illinois Senate has voted to ban smoking in bars, restaurants, casinos and workplaces statewide. The initiative, which passed 34-23 and now moves to the House, would replace a patchwork of local anti-smoking laws beginning next January. The bill bans smoking in Workplaces, bars, restaurants and casinos.

Despite the Senate vote, another anti-tobacco initiative went up in smoke. The House overwhelmingly rejected a bid to give police the authority to give $25 tickets to motorists for smoking if they have passengers under the age of 8.

“This goes a step too far,” said Rep. Bill Black (R-Danville), who was among 91 House members to vote against the plan. “What’s next? Are we going to have the smoke police go to your house?” … Maybe they’ll call it child endangerment.

My opinion is simple. Ban the sale of tobacco completely or leave it alone. The current argument is that a restaurant worker shouldnt have to choose between their job and their health. I suppose we’re banning the miitary from going into harm’s way next because they dont even get the choice. I know many restaurant and bar workers. Know what? They typically have to EARN the smoking section and beg for it. New servers are not generally given a smoking section assignement. Why? Simple. Ask any server. Smokers generally tip better and non smokers tend to be a pain in the ass as customers. My guess, it isnt smokers writing these laws.

This piecemeal approach is terrible. Its not that I wouldnt like to quit smoking. Of course I would. But it isnt so easy as many people think. Even those former smokers seem to forget it is very hard to quit. More then half of the people who try to quit, fail multiple times.

I particularily enjoy when a doctor tells me that I have a chest cold and I should not smoke for a few days. Its not so simple to just stop smoking. – hell even doctors seem to forget that it’s an addiction. It’s not like giving up meat for lent folks. I recently went to a Casino in Windsor Canada, where no smoking is permitted. I can tell you, I wasnt interested in playing very long. I cant imagine going to a bar and not smoking, nor do I expect to sit in a restaurant for very long. Thats ok. The money I save (and the businesses lose) will offset the ridicules taxes charged for cigarettes today.

So, I say, ban the sale of tobacco completely. Stop playing games. Either that, or leave me alone.


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