Vernon Hills (IL) Votes to Go Smokefree
On Tuesday, the Vernon Hills Village Board unanimously approved regulations eliminating smoking in all public places, including restaurants and bars.
"A great deal of time and effort went into this effort," said Mayor Roger Byrne. "This is a health problem, and we have the opportunity to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of our residents."
The regulations affect about 350 businesses. Included are all enclosed public places, restaurants, retail stores, shopping malls, bars, bingo and convention facilities, educational facilities, both public and private, elevators and facilities used for performances, lectures, recitals, child care, adult day care and health care. Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of a public entrance.
Regulations apply to lobbies, sports arenas and public transportation facilities, including buses, taxicabs, ticket boarding and the waiting areas of a public transportation.
"I'm very happy about this. I think this ordinance is in line with the ordinances passed in Highland Park and Deerfield," said Trustee James Schultz. "My only hope is that the state enacts similar legislation."
Vernon Hills residents Michael Booden and Maureen Wener were among the health advocates who spoke to the issue. "Smoking allows a minority of people to impose their will on the majority. They do so in the most unfortunate fashion by exposing unwilling and unconsenting adults and children to cancer causing agents. Patrons of a restaurant as well as cooks, wait-staff and others are unnecessarily exposed to poison. In this day and age, it is a wonder that this sort of thing still goes on," Booden said.
So far Highland Park, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire are among the Illinois municipalities that have passed smokefree ordinances. Lindenhurst and Lake Forest are considering ordinances.