SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – State lawmakers in Illinois are busy trying to improve business – in casinos and elsewhere – by making exceptions to the state’s no-smoking law and also adding slot machines to horse racing tracks.

A bill sponsored by State Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) would allow local authorities to issue “smoking licenses” to such businesses as bars and strip clubs. It passed a House committee, as did separate bills to allow smoking in casinos.

State Rep. Dan Burke’s bill would make casinos an outright exception to Smoke Free Illinois, while a bill sponsored by State Rep. Andre Thapedi (D-Chicago) would restrict smoking to certain rooms of casinos.

The American Cancer Society and American Lung Association are against the measures, saying there is no way to fully ventilate a room to make it safe from second-hand smoke; and that nobody should have to be subjected to smoke to earn a paycheck.

A gambling expansion bill sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) would allow slot machines at horse race tracks. Casino owners do not like this bill because it would increase the number of legal gambling facilities in the state from ten to sixteen.

HB 1310 (smoking licenses), HB 1965 (allowing smoking in casinos), HB 171 (allowing smoking rooms in casinos), and HB 3107 (slots at tracks) have all passed the House Executive Committee.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

Comments (8)
  1. Bob says:

    It’s about time. Trying to ban smoking in small neighborhood adult with no kids bars is stupid. Many bars ignore .

  2. Peter says:

    Why don’t these politicians listen to the majority who are non-smokers. Don’t they realize that this would mean that thousands of non-smoking employees will now have to inhale toxic smoke for hours every day or find new jobs. And we all know that the economy will not make it easy for any of them to just quit and quickly find new employment to avoid damage to their health.

  3. Daryl says:

    Response to Peter: I synpathize with your comment, but as long as smoking is legal, businesses should be able to apply for exceptions. The solution is to outlaw tobacco. Otherwise we are just being hypocrits.

  4. Tom says:

    If you smoke, you are an idiot. Period.

  5. sheila says:

    Your right to breathe ends at my property line. Especially if I have informed you that smoking is allowed on my property. Perhaps we should be teaching people how to read? I am beginning to think that these anti smokers are actually addicted to second hand smoke. They seem to insist on going places where they KNOW people are smoking. ANd then they start their whining. What is it with these people? Are they just envious of others who had the gumption to start their own businesses. They want to destroy other people, and make them miserable? Get a life!

  6. Dave Kuneman says:

    Banning smoking in bars is like banning sunbathing at water parks. After all, allowing water parks increases the risk of malginant mellinoma. and the link between sun exposure and malginant mellinoma is stronger than the link between smoke exposure and the risk to nonsmokers. ALL malginant mellinoma studies reach the same conclusion, not so with smoke studies. –that’s why the link is so much more certain. Insofar as employee risk is concerned,,there again, those wroking at water parks, and outside swimming pools definitely face a health risk, while those working in smoking bars MIGHT face a health risk. If IL allows one,,then why not the other?

  7. Tom says:

    Sheila: if you set booby-traps on your “property,” you are liable to be sued for damages. Second hand smoke is one such “booby-trap,” so to speak. Bar owners are lucky that is ALL that is happening is that smokers ply their trade out-of-doors, and not be held legally liable for the health of workers and patrons.
    “Private property” is really just an illusion. If you think you actually OWN your “property,” guess again. The United States actually owns the land you are on. You just happen to own the *value* of the land, not the land itself. To test this, stop paying property tax and declare yourself a sovereign nation. Then see what happens.

  8. Tom says:

    Dave Kuneman: That is faulty logic. (A) people are going to get exposure to the sun at a park, no matter if they “sunbathe” or not. (B) The sun’s rays strike everyone, everywhere, even on the way to and from a park (no so with smoke) (C) The sun’s rays are a naturally-occuring presence, harmful or not. That is, you can’t stop the sun from shining, but you can snuff out a sickly-smouldering cylinder of rolled-up leaves. (D) Short exposure to sunlight actually has certain health benefits (look it up)

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