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Banning Smoking in Public Buildings

             As some states have already done the House of Representatives is going to put a bill to vote that will outlaw smoking in all public buildings. Even if the House denies the law, the state of Illinois is doing it's best to keep smoking out of any and all buildings. Talking with many restaurant and bar owners, no one sounds too enthusiastic about making them smoke-free. Then there are those very few restaurants that are uniquely non-smoking even when it's legal not to be. Most people don't want this law to go into effect because 78% of the U.S. population is addicted to nicotine (Seltzer).
             In January of 1990 Illinois took a step to reduce the amount of smoking in public buildings. Joan Weaver at the Illinois department of public health informed me of Illinois Clean Indoor Air Act. This act states that "tobacco smoke is annoying, harmful, and dangerous to human beings and a hazard to public health." Joan also said that the act was not a huge step, but that it just restricted smoking inside mostly government buildings, retail stores, offices, indoor theaters, libraries, museums, and arenas. It also does not apply to factories or warehouses that are not frequently visited by the public. The Department of Public health has started a new program to try and get restaurant owners to designate their restaurant as a non-smoking building. It is called the Illinois Smoke-free Restaurant Recognition Program. "Basically all it does is certifies that restaurant as being a smoke-free place and raises public awareness of second hand smoke," stated Joan when asked how effective the program was. She said that there's not much else you can do until another bill is put up to vote. Joan is the head of the non-smoking department at the Illinois Department of Public Health. " I wish it was easier, but banning something that more than half the population does takes a lot of time and effort.".
             Wanting to know how restaurant owners would feel if smoking was banned, I first decided to call a popular hangout for young people, IHOP.

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