Illinois Seeks Statewide Smoking Ban

Local smoking bans in nearly 30 Illinois cities and counties have sparked a review that could clear the air in all buildings owned or leased by the state, excluding prisons.

Officials said today the state is seeking to snuff out a 1987 agreement with its largest employee union that allows smoking in some of its nearly one-thousand facilities statewide.

State officials say a ban would protect the health and safety of both state workers and citizens who receive services at the facilities.

Union leaders say they are willing to consider changes to the nearly 20-year-old deal that created designated smoking areas to accommodate smokers while distancing others from second-hand smoke.

Officials say the talks do not apply to Illinois prisons, where any ban on smoking is up to the Legislature.