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Tobacco-Free Living

Everyone deserves to breathe clean air. Inside or out, tobacco is harmful to your health, and the litter is harmful to the earth. Tobacco-free policies establish the community norm that tobacco use is not an acceptable behavior for young people or adults. Cook County Department of Public Health works with partners to advance and support implementation of tobacco-free living policies. Learn more about current tobacco control related policies below.

Cook County Policies

Cook County Youth Tobacco Control Ordinance (Chapter 54, Article V)

The Cook County Youth Tobacco Control Ordinance applies to all licensed tobacco retailers in unincorporated suburban Cook County. The ordinance details licensing, purchasing age (Tobacco 21), enforcement, penalties, and sales restrictions. Find the full ordinance and information about notable amendments below.

Flavored Liquid Nicotine Products

On May 25, 2023, the Cook County Board of Commissioners amended the Cook County Youth Tobacco Control Ordinance, restricting the sale of all flavored liquid nicotine products, effective July 24, 2023. Learn more.

Tobacco 21

The Cook County Board of Commissioners amended the Cook County Youth Tobacco Control Ordinance, raising the minimum legal sales age of tobacco products from age 18 years to 21 years, effective June 1, 2019. While the State of Illinois also passed a Tobacco 21 law, all licensed tobacco retailers in unincorporated Cook County must comply with the Cook County Ordinance.


Cook County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance (Chapter 30, Article VIII)

The Cook County Clean Indoor Air Ordinance prohibits smoking in all public places in Cook County and guarantees the right of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air, which shall have the priority over the desire to smoke. The ordinance took effect on March 15, 2007, and prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places and places of employment within the County of Cook. Public places include:

  • Childcare, adult daycare, healthcare facilities, or home-based businesses of any kind open to the public;
  • Restroom, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other enclosed common use areas;
  • Recreational areas including enclosed sports arenas, stadiums, pools, ice and roller rinks, arcades, and bowling alleys.
  • Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of any entrance;
  • Every place of employment where smoking is prohibited by this Ordinance shall have posted, at every entrance, a conspicuous sign clearly stating that smoking is prohibited;
  • The operator or manager shall remove all ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia intended for use where smoking is prohibited.

Find the full ordinance language here .

Illinois State Policies

Smoke-Free Illinois Act (410 ILCS 82)

In July 2007, the Governor signed the Smoke-free Illinois Act into law, making Illinois the 22nd state to be smoke-free. The Act, which took effect on January 1, 2008, authorizes Cook County Department of Public Health to enforce this Act within its jurisdiction. The Smoke-free Illinois Act requires that public places and places of employment must be completely smoke-free inside and within 15 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes. Effective January 1, 2024, the definition of “smoke” or “smoking” is now updated to include the use of electronic cigarettes. Public places and places of employment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Public places and buildings, offices, elevators, restrooms, theatres, museums, libraries, educational institutions, schools, commercial establishments, enclosed shopping centers and retail stores;
  • Restaurants, bars, taverns, and gaming facilities;
  • Lobbies, reception areas, hallways, meeting rooms, waiting rooms, break rooms and other common use areas;
  • Concert halls, auditoriums, enclosed or partially enclosed sports arenas, bowling alleys, skating rinks, convention facilities, polling places and private clubs;
  • Hospitals, health care facilities, healthcare clinics, childcare, adult care or other similar social service care;
  • No less than 75 percent of hotel or motel sleeping quarters rented to guests;
  • Public conveyances, government-owned vehicles and vehicles open to the public;

Find the full ordinance language .

Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act (PA 098-0985)

The Illinois Smoke-Free Campus Act prohibits smoking on each campus of a state-supported institution of higher education. Find the full ordinance language .



Please use the additional resources listed on this page to help you get involved and take action against tobacco use or for additional information.


Quitting Resources
  • Illinois Tobacco Quitline – The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is a free service to support Illinois residents on their journey to quit tobacco. Our certified Quitline counselors are trained to help you find the best strategy to move forward in your life tobacco-free. Call 1-866-QUIT-YES and visit .
  • My Life, My Quit – My Life, My Quit™ is the free and confidential way to quit smoking or vaping for youth. Text “Start My Quit” to 36072 and visit .

Use the websites below to find more information on remaining or becoming tobacco-free.

  • The Real Cost  – Interact with this site to fully understand the real cost of tobacco use to you and your friends.
  • Truth  – The truth® campaign is the largest national youth-focused anti-tobacco education campaign ever.
  • Tobacco Free Kids – The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world.
  • Smokefree Teen – A new effort to help teens quit smoking using a mobile phone.
  • Know the Risks – Office of the U.S. Surgeon General “Know The Risks E-Cigarettes & Young People”
  • QuitSTART App – A free smartphone app for teens who want to quit smoking. This app takes the information you provide about your smoking history and gives you tailored tips and inspiration to help you become smokefree and live a healthier life.
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) created to help you or someone you care about quit smoking. It is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ efforts to reduce smoking rates in the United States.
  • This is Quitting – Parents can text QUIT to 847-278-9715 to sign up to receive text messages designed specifically for parents of vapers.
  • SmokefreeTXT – For adults in the United States who are ready to quit smoking. Text QUIT to 47848.
  • American Heart Association – Tobacco-Free Schools Toolkit designed to assist schools in creating a tobacco-free environment that helps prevent students from using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and support students who need help quitting. The toolkit includes model language for the adoption, implementation, and enforcement of a 100% tobacco-free school district policy.
  • Empower Vape-Free Youth – CDC campaign to encourage middle and high school educators to speak with students about the risks of e-cigarettes and nicotine addiction. The campaign also provides resources for educators to help students avoid or quit vaping.

Updated June 11, 2024, 10:43 AM