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Cook County Clean Indoor Air Ordinace

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Date Introduced: 3/15/2006
Date Passed:

Butler, Claypool, Collins, Daley, Gorman, Goslin, Hansen, Maldonado, Moreno, Murphy, Peraica, Quigley, Silvestri, Sims, Steele, Stroger, Suffredin


The purposes of this Ordinance are (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in all public places and places of employment, and (2) to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air which shall have priority over the desire to smoke.

Full Text of Legislation:






WHEREAS, secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds, of which 200 are known poisons including carbon monoxide, arsenic, cyanide, benzene and formaldehyde; and


WHEREAS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies secondhand smoke as a “Class A Carcinogen;” and


WHEREAS, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 3,000 lung cancer deaths and more than 35,000 coronary  heart disease deaths occur annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke; and


WHEREAS, secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and  causes cancer, stroke, and heart disease, and has also been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and exacerbation of asthma symptoms, including triggering asthmas attacks;  and


WHEREAS, employees who work in smoke-filled businesses suffer a 25-50% higher risk of heart attack and higher rates of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as increased acute respiratory disease and measurable decrease in lung function; and


WHEREAS, the American with Disabilities Act, which requires that disabled persons have access to public places and workplaces, deems impaired respiratory function to be a disability; and


WHEREAS, there is no known safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke; and


WHEREAS, the U.S. Surgeon General has determined that the simple separation of smokers and nonsmokers within the same air space may reduce, but does not eliminate, the exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke; and


WHEREAS the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that secondhand smoke cannot be reduced to safe levels in businesses by high rates of ventilation; and


 WHEREAS, air cleaners, which are only capable of filtering the particulate matter and odors in smoke, do not eliminate the known toxins in secondhand smoke; and


WHEREAS,  ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) 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 the technology does not exist that can remove chemicals from the air that cause cancer; and


WHEREAS, exposure to secondhand smoke costs the nation $5 billion in direct medical costs and $5 billion in indirect medical costs annually; and


WHEREAS, limiting the exposure to secondhand smoke will result in considerable savings to taxpayers through the reduction of direct and indirect medical costs for  Cook County employees and taxpayers utilizing Cook County health facilities; and


WHEREAS, the states of California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Idaho, Connecticut, South Dakota, Maine, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, and Washington adopted protective clean indoor air laws that eliminate workers’, patrons’, and visitors’ exposure to secondhand smoke; and


WHEREAS, since 2002, ninety independent studies have concluded that there is either no economic impact or there is a positive economic impact after the implementation of smoke-free restaurant/bar laws and laws banning smoking in the workplace; and   


WHEREAS, the Cook County Board of Commissioners finds and declares that the purposes of this Ordinance are (1) to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in all public places and places of employment, and (2) to guarantee the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air which shall have priority over the desire to smoke.




Section 1:        Title


This Ordinance shall be known as the Cook County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance.


Section 2:        Interpretation with Other Laws


Nothing in this Ordinance supersedes any existing elimination of smoking that is already covered by fire code restrictions.


Section 3:        Definitions


The following words and phrases, wherein used in this Ordinance, shall have the following meanings:


Arcade” means a place of amusement, which contains four or more automatic amusement devices and is not licensed to serve alcoholic liquor.


“Bar/Tavern” means an establishment that is devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption by guests and patrons on the premises and does not have an on-site kitchen to prepare food.  Food service is limited to providing snack items or commercially prepared or wrapped foods that require no preparation.


“Business” means any sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company or other business entity formed for profit-making purposes, including without limitation retail establishments where goods or services are sold as well as professional corporations and other entities where legal, medical, dental, engineering, architectural, or other professional services are delivered.


“Employee” means any person who is employed by an employer in consideration for direct or indirect monetary wages or profit and a person who volunteers his or her services for a non-profit entity.


“Employer” means any person, business, partnership, association, corporation, including without limitation a municipal corporation, trust, or non-profit entity that employs the services of one or more individual persons.


“Enclosed Area” means all space between a floor and ceiling that is enclosed or semi-enclosed with (i) solid walls or windows (exclusive of doorways), which extend from the floor to the ceiling, or (ii) solid walls with half wall petitions and no windows (exclusive of doorways)  without limitation to lobbies and corridors.


“Health-Care Facility” means any office or institution providing medical care or treatment of diseases, whether physical, mental, or emotional, or other medical, physiological, or psychological conditions, including without limitation hospitals, clinics, homes for the aging or chronically ill, laboratories, and offices of surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists, physicians, dentists and all specialists within these professions.  The definition shall include all waiting rooms, hallways, private rooms, semiprivate rooms, and wards within health care facilities.


“Place of Employment” means any enclosed area under the control of a public or private employer that employees frequent during the course of employment, including without limitation work areas, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways and vehicles.  A private residence is not a “Place of Employment” unless it is used as a childcare, adult day care, health care facility, or home-based business of any kind open to the public.


“Public Place” means any enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, including without limitation banks, educational facilities, government buildings, health care facilities, laundromats, museums, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, bars/taverns, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms.  A private residence is not a “Public Place” unless it is used as a childcare, adult daycare, health care facility, or home-based business of any kind open to the public.


“Private Club” or “lodge" means any not-for-profit association that: (i) has been in active and continuous existence for at least three years; and (ii) has a membership roll of more than 50 bona fide members who pay membership dues on an annual or other periodic basis. For purposes of this section "bona fide members" do not include members who pay membership dues at the time of an amusement produced, presented or conducted by the club or lodge or in conjunction with contracting for production, presentation or conduct of an amusement by the club, as a condition to entering the premises where the amusement is produced, presented or conducted.


“Private Function” means a gathering of persons for the purpose of deliberation, education, instruction, entertainment, amusement or dining where membership or specific invitation is a prerequisite to entry and where the event is not intended to be open to the public.


“Restaurant” means an eating establishment, including without limitation coffee shops, cafeterias, sandwich shops, and private and public school cafeterias that gives or offers for sale, food to the public, guests or employees, as well as kitchens and catering facilities in which food is prepared on the premises for serving elsewhere.  The term “Restaurant” shall include, if applicable, a restaurant bar area.


“Restaurant bar area” means an area of a restaurant that is primarily devoted to the serving of alcoholic liquor.


“Retail Tobacco Store” means any retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental and where no one under 18 is permitted.


“Secondhand smoke” or “Involuntary smoking” is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning ends of a cigarette, pipe, cigar, bidis, and kreteks (sidestream smoke) and the smoke emitted at the mouthpiece and exhaled from the lungs of smokers (mainstream smoke).


“Service Line” means any indoor line at which one (1) or more persons are waiting for or receiving services of any kind, whether or not the service involves the exchange of money.


“Shopping Mall” means any enclosed walkway or hall area that serves to connect retail or professional establishments.


“Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, weed, hookah, or other lighted tobacco product in any manner or in any form.


“Enclosed or Semi-Enclosed” “Sports Arena” or “Recreational Area” means any sports pavilion, stadium, gymnasium, health spa, boxing arena, swimming pool, roller and ice rink, bowling alley and other similar places where members of the general public assemble either to engage in physical exercise, or participate in athletic competition or recreational activity, to witness sports, cultural, recreational or other events.



Section 4 :       Prohibition of Smoking in Public Places


Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed public places and places of employment within the County of Cook, including without limitation the following places:


1.      Arcades.


2.      Aquariums, galleries, libraries, and museums.


3.      Bars/taverns.


4.      Bingo facilities.


5.      Bowling Alleys.


6.      Convention facilities.


7.      Facilities primarily used for exhibiting a motion picture, stage, drama, lecture, musical recital, or other similar performance.


8.      Health care facilities and adult day care facilities.


9.      Day care centers, nursery schools, elementary schools, high schools, community colleges, technical training establishments, specialty schools, colleges, and universities.


10.  Lobbies, hallways and other common areas in apartment buildings, condominiums and enclosed common areas in trailer parks.


11.  Polling places.


12.  Public Transportation under the authority of government agencies, including without limitation buses, trains, taxicabs, and limousines, and ticket boarding and waiting areas of public transit stations.


13.  Restaurants, including if applicable, a Restaurant bar area.


14.  Restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other enclosed common-use areas.


15.  Public elevators and all retail stores where merchandise is displayed and offered for sale. 


16.  Rooms, chambers, places of meeting or public assembly, including without limitation school buildings, under the control of an agency, board, commission, committee or council or a political subdivision of the State, to the extent the place is subject to the jurisdiction of the County.


17.  Service lines.


18.  Shopping malls.


19.  Sports arenas or recreational areas, including without limitation, enclosed places in outdoor areas.


20.  Grocery stores.


21.  Public meetings.


22.  Gymnasiums.


23.  Gaming facilities.


24.  Public and private school buildings.



Section 5 :       Reasonable Distance


Smoking is prohibited within fifteen (15) feet of any entrance to an enclosed area in  which smoking is prohibited.   


Section 6 :       Where Smoking is not Regulated.


Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article to the contrary, the following areas shall be exempt from the provisions  this Ordinance, provided smoking is not limited in such areas under the Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act.


1.      Private residences, except when used as a licensed childcare, adult day care facility, health care facility, or a home-based business of any kind open to the public.


2.      Hotel and motel sleeping rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as smoking rooms provided, however, that not more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the rooms rented to guests in a hotel or motel may be so designated.


3.      Private and semi-private rooms in nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are occupied by one or more persons, all of whom are smokers and have requested in writing to be placed or to remain, as the case my be, in a room where smoking is permitted. 


4.      Private clubs or lodges.



Section 7 :       Declaration of Establishment as Non-smoking.


Notwithstanding any other provision of this Ordinance, an owner operator, manager, or other person in control of an establishment, facility, or outdoor area may declare that entire establishment, facility, or outdoor area as a non-smoking place.


Smoking shall be prohibited in any place in which a sign conforming to the requirements of this Ordinance is posted.


Section 8 :  Posting of Signs


A.     Every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited by this Ordinance shall have posted at every entrance a conspicuous sign clearly stating that smoking is prohibited.


B.     The operator, manager or other person having control of an area where smoking is prohibited by this Ordinance shall remove all ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia intended for use where smoking is prohibited.


Section 9 :       Non-retaliation


No person or employer shall discharge, refuse to hire, or in any manner retaliate against an employee, applicant for employment, or customer because that employee, applicant, or customer exercises any rights afforded by this Ordinance  or reports or attempts to prosecute a violation of this Ordinance.


Section 10 :     Enforcement


A.     Any law enforcement agency and certified local public health department with jurisdiction shall be authorized to enforce this Ordinance within its jurisdiction.  The certified local public health department is the Cook County Department of Public Health, except within those areas within Cook County which are served by another local health department certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health, in which case said certified local health department shall be authorized to enforce the Ordinance.   


B.     Any citizen who desires to register a complaint under this Ordinance may file a complaint with the Cook County Department of Public Heath.  If it does not have jurisdiction, the Cook County Department of Public Health shall transmit the complaint to the appropriate certified local health department.


C.     The Cook County Department of Public Health or designees shall, while an establishment is undergoing other public health inspections, inspect for compliance with this Ordinance.


D.     Any owner, manager, operator, or employee of an establishment regulated by this Ordinance  shall inform persons violating this Ordinance of the appropriate provisions thereof.


E.      In addition to the remedies provided by the provisions of this Ordinance, the applicable certified local health department  or any person aggrieved by the failure of the owner, operator, manager of other person in control of a public place or a place of employment to comply with the provisions of this Section may apply for injunctive relief to enforce these  provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction.


Section 11:      Violations and Penalties


A.  A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited by this Ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not more than one hundred dollars ($100).


B.  A person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment and who fails to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by:


1.      A fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) for the first violation.


2.   A fine not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for the second violation within one (1) year of the first violation.


3.  A fine not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2500) for each additional violation within one (1) year and a sixty (60) day suspension or revocation of any permit or license issued to the person for the premises on which the violation occurred.


C.  Each day on which a violation of this Ordinance  occurs shall be considered a separate and distinct violation.


D.  Fines collected pursuant to this Ordinance will be deposited into a Special Fund created and maintained by the Cook County Treasurer.  This Special Fund shall be utilized as directed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners for enforcement, public education purposes relating to the health hazards associated with smoking and for lung related illness programs.  The Cook County Board of Commissioners may enter into intergovernmental agreements with local governmental entities to allow distribution of a portion of such Special Fund to such local governmental entities, for use in accordance with these purposes.



Section 12 :     Public Education


The Cook County Department of Public Health within its jurisdiction shall engage in a continuing program to explain and clarify the purposes and requirements of this Ordinance to citizens affected by it, and to guide owners, operators, and managers in their compliance with it.  Within their jurisdictions, local health departments certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health are authorized to provide the same continuing programs. 


Section 13 :     Other Applicable Laws


This Ordinance  shall not be interpreted or be construed to permit smoking where it is otherwise restricted by other applicable laws.


Section 14 :     Severability


If any provision, clause, sentence or paragraph of this Ordinance  or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions of this Ordinance  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Ordinance  are declared to be severable.


Section 15: Applicability of this Ordinance


This Ordinance shall apply to all areas within Cook County, Illinois except those areas which are governed by an ordinance of another governmental entity (which by law may not be superseded by this Ordinance).


Section 16 :     Effective Date           


This ordinance shall take effect three hundred sixty five (365) days from its passage.







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