New plan for a 'Smoke Free' Adams County

Quincy and Adams County officials have a new plan to enforce the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

Quincy and Adams County officials have a new plan to enforce the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

The Act has been in effect for more than six years but officials say some businesses still allow smoking on their premises.

"In partnership with the Adams County Sheriff's Department and the Adams County Health Department, that the Quincy Police Department will be renewing its enforcement efforts in regards to violations of the Smoke Free Illinois Act. We'll be specifically targeting those business owners that blatantly violate the law," Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said.

Since 2008, the Smoke Free Illinois Act has contained a prohibition against smoking inside of businesses. But according to Jerrod Welch with the Adams County Health Department the system that was set up was not so easy to enforce.

"Our portion of the process has been to identify violations and do some referrals related to those," Jerrod Welch said. "The failing of the process has been that referral piece where something can be documented, but by the time someone goes in there to actually do an enforcement on it, it's gone."

Now individuals and businesses found to be in violation of the Smoke Free Illinois law will cited.

"The fine for an individual smoker that violates the act is a hundred dollars up to $250," Chief Copley said. "The fine for a business owner or operator who is citied is $250. The second violation within one year is $500. The third and subsequent violations within that same year $2,500 for each violation."

Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer emphasized his department's commitment to the new enforcement effort.

"We will be asking our officers as well in the county to periodically go to these facilities and locations to make sure that they are abiding by the smoke free law," Fischer said.

Chief Copley says that stricter enforcement efforts will begin next week.