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Choice vs. Health in Illinois Smoking Ban Debate

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Illinois senators held a hearing over a state-wide smoking ban Monday.

The proposal would end smoking in restaurants, bars, and casinos.

Chicago-area Democrat Ira Silverstein tussled with the Illinois Restaurant Association’s Government Relations Director Kenneth Sawyer.

“There’s no way of putting ventilation here where it’s gonna be smoke free, aren’t you putting those people at risk?” Sen. Silverstein asked.

Sawyer said, “Again, they can go somewhere else to eat. There are plenty of restaraunts that have gone non-smoking and they can go to those restaraunts.

“I just can’t understand why people will not allow people to make their own choices.”

Proponents of an Illinois smoking ban say waiters routinely inhale dangerous second-hand smoke.

The restaurant association claims there are enough restaurants around for servers to choose whether to work in a smoke-free environment.

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