Deal to ban smoking in restaurants
December 7, 2005
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Chicago would join the growing ranks of smoke-free cities -- immediately in restaurants and other indoor areas and within three years or less in taverns and restaurant bars -- under a long-awaited compromise hammered out Tuesday with a nudge from Mayor Daley.
A change of heart by Daley and last-minute intervention by the mayor's legislative point-man John Dunn sealed the deal that avoids putting aldermen on the political hot seat.
They will no longer be forced to choose between a tough smoking ban championed by Health Committee chairman Ed Smith (28th) and the American Cancer Society and one exempting bars and taverns that was favored by downtown Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd) and the Illinois Restaurant Association.
UP IN SMOKE
Currently in Chicago: Since 1994, Chicago restaurants have been required to designate at least 30 percent of their tables for nonsmokers.
Under proposed ordinance: Beginning Jan. 1 or April 1, smoking will be banned in restaurants and virtually all indoor public places -- except for taverns and restaurant bars, which could have as long as three years to comply.
WHERE CAN YOU LIGHT UP?
Under the proposed ordinance, you won't be able to smoke in restaurants, stadiums, shopping malls, grocery stores, public elevators, public transportation facilities -- including buses, trains, cabs -- convention facilities, libraries, museums, office buildings.
For probably the next three years, you'll be able to smoke in restaurant bars and taverns. Private homes and cars are exempt from the ordinance. Smoking will be allowed in 25 percent of hotel rooms.
Aldermen are expected to put aside months of acrimony and distrust and ratify the agreement at today's City Council meeting.
Click here for entire Sun-Times story.
Meanwhile in Springfield. . .
Smoking ban tabled
Davlin: See what state, county do
Mayor Tim Davlin got to do something he loves at Tuesday's Springfield City Council meeting: present a proclamation honoring the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School football team for its recent state championship.
Then, he and the rest of the council had to confront an issue that has vexed the city since May: whether to ban smoking in almost all indoor workplaces.
Davlin's answer? Punt it to the Illinois General Assembly and Sangamon County.
An evenly divided city council, with Davlin casting the deciding sixth vote, first declined to strip more than half a dozen exceptions that a committee had attached Monday to Ward 10 Ald. Bruce Strom's smoking-ban ordinance.
Then, on a 6-4 vote, the aldermen agreed to Strom's motion to table the watered-down ordinance.
For the first time Tuesday night, Davlin committed himself to voting for Strom's comprehensive smoking ban, but only if the legislature allows Sangamon County to do the same.
Click here for entire State Journal Register story