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Illinois to Go Surgical Smoke-Free in 2022

Publish Date: August 25, 2021

In a notable feat of grassroots advocacy, Illinois is now the fifth state to go surgical smoke-free. SB 1908, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Morrison, Deputy Senate Majority Leader Murphy and Representative Guerrero-Cuellar passed the Illinois House of Representatives Wednesday, May 26, 2021, and was signed into law by Governor Pritzker on August 20, 2021.

The new law is the culmination of a two-year grassroots advocacy effort led by Illinois AORN members Penny Smalley, RN, CMLSO, and Rebecca Vortman, DNP, RN CNOR. The law goes into effect January 1, 2022. Licensed facilities have until March 30, 2022, to submit their smoke evacuation policies to the Illinois Department of Health.

Senator Morrison first introduced surgical smoke evacuation legislation in 2020 but the bill was derailed, like most bills in state legislatures, by the COVID pandemic and a shift in priorities for the government. AORN applauds Senator Morrison’s dedication to this issue and her stewardship of SB 1908 which had overwhelming bipartisan support.

SB 1908 benefited from Smalley and Vortman’s advocacy leadership, tremendous grassroots support, a strong bill sponsor in the majority political party, and the Illinois Hospital Association’s (IHA) neutral stance on the bill. Throughout SB 1908’s legislative progress, the IHA remained neutral and testified to that effect in committee hearings.

AORN congratulates Illinois members and all their perioperative team members on this incredible legislative achievement.

If you are interested in surgical smoke evacuation in your state, contact Jennifer Pennock, AORN Associate Director of Government Affairs.