Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Illinois Governor signs statewide smoking ban

Smokers throughout Illinois soon will have to step outside or into a private setting to light up after Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Monday signed into law a smoking ban that extends to nearly all public places across the state.

The governor's action, which state health officials said makes Illinois the 19th state with a broad smoking ban, culminated nearly two decades of intense efforts by anti-smoking advocates to curtail smoking in public....

Blagojevich scrawled his signature on the bill at Northwestern Memorial Hospital amid hundreds of joyous medical professionals, cancer survivors, health advocates and other anti-smoking crusaders. They said this day was a long-time coming after years of lobbying village councils, small-town and big-city mayors, state lawmakers and, finally, the governor. ...

Activists hope that Illinois' action will keep momentum going for more states to follow suit.

Blagojevich said it took little persuasion for him to back the legislation.

"This law will save lives," the governor said. "The realities are that smoking kills people. . . My only regret is that this took so long."

The story's author rounded up the usual suspects to complain. The letters of transit were not discovered.

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