Smoking ban kicks off Chicago New Year
I do most things that are bad for you but I've never been a smoker so I was pleased that a final no smoking ban passed relatively quietly on New Year's day in Chicago. Back in 2005 the city council passed a city-wide smoking ban but gave taverns and separated bars in restaurants until July 2008 to comply. However much to the disdain of tavern owners state legislature amended that during last year and passed a strict smoking ban effective January 1st, superseding the city council.
Illinois became the 23rd state to impose a public smoking ban and Chicago is one of 2,000 cities in America that has some kind of a restriction. Some people would like it to be more prohibitive such as in Belmont, California where smoking is not allowed within 6ft of an office building or storefront, pretty much preventing smoking on the pavement. It is also banned in multi-apartment and condominium buildings.
To be honest it was never as bad here as in London and restaurants nearly all had a no-smoking policy. After growing up in smoky pubs, I always kept the dry cleaners in business but knew nothing else. What did annoy the hell out of me though was in restaurants when inconsiderate mugs used to spark up at the next table.
There are 6,000 taverns, bars and restaurants in Chicago, but one place will escape the ban and that is Marshall McGearty's Tobacco Lounge
in Wicker Park. It is exempt because the majority of it's sales are tobacco, however those is desperate need of a fag and a beer can sit in this old fashioned lounge with a blazing fireplace and puff away until their lungs are content in happy seclusion.