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Illinois House approves fine for tossing cigarettes
SPRINGFIELD-Illinois smokers will be charged $50 every time they’re caught tossing out their cigarette butts in public if legislation that passed the Illinois House Monday becomes law.
The idea, sponsored by Rep. Deb Mell (D-Chicago), passed the House by a 71-45 roll call, and now moves to be weighed in the Senate.
The relatively short debate mostly focused on what exactly constitutes a cigarette and whether smokers would still be allowed to ash their cigarettes in public. Mell conceded that her bill would still allow people to smoke and ash their cigarettes, but they would have to put them out at designated places.
“I think we all know what a cigarette is,” Mell said. “There’s far too many on our streets and our roads, and this just tries to clean that up.”
But at least one opponent of the bill thought the regulation much too Orwellian.
“This is almost unbelievable. A $50 fine for throwing your cigarette on the ground,” Rep. David Reis (R-Willow Hill) said. “I think it’s distasteful. I don’t smoke, but where are we going to stop with that. We’ve got a lot more important things to talk about here than fines for a cigarette toss.”