I saw this over at the Newsalert blog talking about the state ban on smoking at public place. It seems that state official can't determine how to enforce the law. The story is from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch...
Toni Corona will be a Metro East smoker's worst nightmare, a carcinogen cop looking to clear the air.i'm not a big fan of smoking either, but it almost makes me wonder if this is a half-hearted law on a very convenient issue. I'm starting to think so. Why not let individual municipalities or establishments determine whether or not to allow smoking.
When Illinois' new smoking ban kicks in Jan. 1, Corona's job as Madison County Health Department director puts her on the front line of keeping smoke out of public places.
Problem is, she's not sure what the new law covers. Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed in July the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which bans smoking in virtually all public places. But a state committee hasn't adopted the specific rules that clarify the law.
"Those rules need to be in place before the enforcement really can commence," Corona said.
Smoking on patios, for instance, is still uncertain. The law says smoking will be banned in all indoor public places or places of employment, and within 15 feet of an entrance, open window or ventilation intake.
"Our interpretation is that if you have a patio, you can have smoking as long as it's 15 feet from the door," said Andrew Ariens, of the Illinois Restaurant Association.
But if wait staff attend to those tables 15 feet away or farther, is smoking allowed? Isn't that a work area?
"Oh, I see. That's a good question," Ariens said. "Well, you can nitpick over this all day, but are you going to be ticketed for it? Probably not."
Individual fines range from $100 to $250, and businesses face fines between $250 and $2,500. Businesses must post "No Smoking" signs. The law says ashtrays aren't allowed in workplaces. But could someone be fined if they have one? What about ashtrays used for spare change? Souvenir ashtrays?
The process for issuing tickets must be determined, too. Corona says she isn't aware how a ticket will be handled, and which courts will hear the case.