JACKSON COUNTY -- In 2007, the Illinois general assembly passed the Smoke Free Illinois Act banning smoking in public places.
We've seen actual statistical evidence that this is getting us a return health wise," said Randall Risley.
Risley volunteers with the American Cancer Society, helping to educate those on the benefits of the public smoking ban.
"We have seen a 20.5 percent reduction in hospitalizations from asthma, cod, and heart attacks in Illinois" said Shana Crews, also with the ACS.
She says that the Illinois adult smoking rate was 20 percent in 2007. Now it's down to just under 16 percent.
With the success of the smoking ban, legislators have now turned their eyes to younger smokers.
Tobacco 21 is a legislative effort in Springfield to raise the the purchasing age for tobacco from 18 to 21.
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