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Could the Smoking Ban Affect Movies, Too?

By Margaret Lyons in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 9, 2008 7:48PM

2008_7_9.laurenbacall.jpgAlderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) really is the bad boy of City Council: Not only does he flout Mayor Daley's wishes, but he also smokes! He even believes the smoking ban was never "intended to limit artistic expression. It would be wise for us to ... allow theater productions to obtain a special waiver when smoking is a critical component of their performance." While Reilly wants the cast of Jersey Boys to be able to light up, as scripted, Alderman Ed Smith (28th) disagrees, and the council specifically did not approve an exemption to the ban for live theater.

So now we're wondering: What about TV shows or movies filmed in Chicago? (The Trib's Chris Jones is wondering about that, too.)

As far as we can tell, the Smoke Free Illinois Act does not make exemptions for "fake" or herbal cigarettes. The law says "'Smoke' or 'smoking' means the carrying, smoking, burning,
inhaling, or exhaling of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar, cigarette, hookah, weed, herbs, or any other lighted smoking equipment." So, for example, in a movie about let's hypothetically say Chess Records, and by hypothetically I mean its opposite, if interior shots are going to be filmed in Chicago, no one can smoke? All those famous smoke-free jazz clubs from the 1950s?