“No Smoking” Laws
What are the “no smoking” laws in Illinois as they pertain to my office?
The Smoke-free Illinois Act (“no smoking” laws) was signed into law in 2008. The following summarizes this law:
- Smoking is not allowed in most public establishments – this includes your office and pertains to patients and employees alike.
- A “No Smoking” sign must be placed on each entrance – public and employee only entrances alike.
- The No Smoking sign may have either the no smoking symbol (pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it) or the words No Smoking. Although the law doesn’t require both, the ICS recommends that the safest route is to include both.
- The Department of Public Health has developed sample signs to use. The signs contain more than the statutory requirements, but the final “rules” may also require this additional information. You can access these free sample signs to print for your office here: http://www.idph.state.il.us/smokefree/smokefreesigns.htm.
- Smoking is not allowed within 15 feet of your entrances, windows or air intake systems.
- All ashtrays should be removed from your office.
What if my office has multiple doors at the entrance (for example, 4 glass doors side by side)? Do I need a sign on each door?
A reasonable interpretation of the law is that one entrance can consist of multiple doors and common sense should prevail. For example, if an office has a double door entry, to the law doesn’t appear to require a sign on each door as long as one is visible from any door in that entrance. But, for example, if a doctor runs a clinic and a massage therapy center as separate businesses in one building with separate entrances, a sign should be placed on each entrance.
Do I have to use the signs from the Department of Public Health?
No. You can purchase signs, or make signs that have the minimum requirements (No Smoking words or symbol). However, when rules are final for this act, they may very well include specific language as indicated on those sample signs.
I don’t want to have a big sign on my front door that says “No Smoking.” Is it ok to put a small sign the size of a postage stamp on my door?
No. The law specifically states that the sign must be clearly and conspicuously posted at the entrance. The Department has previously suggested the sign be approximately 5×7. The key, however, is that the sign must be clearly seen and conspicuously placed.
Simply stated, what are my requirements under the Smoke-Free Illinois law right now?
Use the signs from the DPH website, or something very similar, in a size large enough to be seen, at every entrance; take away your ashtrays; and reasonably prevent smoking within 15 feet of the building.