IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Illinois

Restrictions in Illinois


Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Illinois

Illinois state law prohibits smoking in public places, places of employment, and government vehicles. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, hospitals, restaurants, retail stores, offices, commercial establishments, elevators, indoor theaters, libraries, museums, concert halls, public conveyances, educational facilities, nursing homes, auditoriums, enclosed or partially enclosed sports arenas, meeting rooms, schools, exhibition halls, convention facilities, polling places, private clubs, gaming facilities, all government owned vehicles and facilities, healthcare facilities or clinics, enclosed shopping centers, retail service establishments, financial institutions, educational facilities, ticket areas, public hearing facilities, public restrooms, waiting areas, lobbies, bars, taverns, bowling alleys, skating rinks, reception areas, and no less than 75% of the sleeping quarters within a hotel, motel, resort, inn, lodge, or bed and breakfast. Additionally, the state enacted the Smoke-Free Campus Act. Smoking is prohibited on each campus of a State-supported institution of higher education.


410 Ill. Comp. Stat. 82/10: Definitions
410 Ill. Comp. Stat. 82/15: Smoking in public places, places of employment, and governmental vehicles prohibited
770 Ill. Comp. Stat. 64/15: Smoke –Free Campus Act


Any home rule unit of local government, any non-home rule municipality, or any non-home rule county within the unincorporated territory of the county may regulate smoking in public places, but that regulation must be no less restrictive than state law. In addition, any home rule unit of local government, any non-home rule municipality, or any non-home rule county within the unincorporated territory of the county may regulate smoking in any enclosed indoor area used by the public or serving as a place of work if the area does not fall within the definition of a “public place” under state law.


410 Ill. Comp. Stat. 82/65




The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private residences, except when used as a child care, adult day care, or healthcare facility or any other home-based business open to the public.
  • Retail tobacco stores in operation prior to January 1, 2008 that derive more than 80 percent of their gross revenue from the sale of loose tobacco, plants, or herbs and cigars, cigarettes, pipes, and other smoking devices for burning tobacco and related smoking accessories. Retail tobacco stores that began operation after January 1, 2008 only qualify for an exemption if located in a freestanding structure occupied solely by the business and if smoke from the business does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. Retail tobacco stores must file an annual affidavit to the Illinois Department of Public Health by January 31st stating the percentage of its gross income that was derived from the sale of tobacco products.
    • Staff reported that there is no required form for this affidavit. A simple letter is sufficient as long as it lists the business name and includes the required information.
    • Affidavits may be sent to:
      • Tobacco Control Program
        535 West Jefferson Street (2nd Floor)
        Springfield, Illinois 62761
  • Designated hotel and motel rooms.
  • Enclosed laboratories.
  • Common smoking rooms in long-term care facilities.
  • Vehicles traveling through or parked on a campus as long as the vehicles are not owned by a state-supported institution of higher education.


410 Ill. Comp. Stat. 82/35

770 Ill. Comp. Stat. 64/15: Smoke–Free Campus Act

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot buy or possess any tobacco product. Similarly, it is illegal for any person to give to, sell to, buy for, or distribute samples of any tobacco product to any person under 18 years of age.


Individuals under 16 years of age cannot sell any tobacco product at a retail establishment selling tobacco products. This prohibition does not apply to a sales clerk in a family-owned business that can prove the sales clerk is in fact a son or daughter of the owner.


720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 675/1


State liquor laws do not regulate age restrictions for admittance to liquor establishments. It is the decision of local municipalities to regulate this restriction.

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.


Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet


In Illinois, distributing free samples of any tobacco product to any person, regardless of age, is illegal:

  • Within a retail establishment selling tobacco products, unless the retailer has verified the purchaser’s age with a government-issued ID
  • From a lunch wagon/food truck; or
  • On a public way as a promotion or advertisement of a tobacco manufacturer or tobacco product.


This prohibition does not apply to the distribution of a tobacco product sample in any adult-only facility where the operator ensures or has a reasonable basis to believe that no person under legal age is present.


The sale or distribution of a tobacco product that is not contained within a sealed container, pack, or package bearing a federal health warning as provided by the manufacturer is prohibited.


720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 675/1(a-8)


Staff reported that tobacco samples are taxed at the same rate as other tobacco products in Illinois.


Localities may require licenses for the distribution of tobacco product samples.


Illinois law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

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