According to the National Cancer Institute, secondhand tobacco smoke causes at least 65,000 deaths in the United States each year from heart disease and lung cancer. Nearly 3,000 of these deaths are citizens of Illinois. The largest percentage of this population are employees working in bars and restaurants. Senator Cullerton sponsored and passed Senate Bill 500, creating a statewide smoking ban in public places. This ban was enacted to protect the rights of employees in the workplace. It is estimated that 8 people in Illinois die everyday from the effects of secondhand smoke. By eliminating smoking in public places a healthy environment is created for employees as well as the rest of the individuals in our state.