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Iowa

All of Iowa's non-hospitality workplaces, restaurants, and bars are 100% smokefree as of July 1, 2008. The law exempts the gaming floors and wagering areas of casinos, but this law is a very significant protection for the health of Iowans. Additionally, the bill does not contain explicit preemption.

Governor Culver signed the smokefree law into law on April 15th, 2008. Congratulations to the Hawk Eye State for passing a law that protects workers and patrons in almost all workplaces in the state from secondhand smoke. Iowa smokefree advocates are working hard to build up support to close the loophole that allows smoking on gaming floors of casinos so that ALL Iowa workers can breathe air that's free from toxic smoke. In 2003, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that the state law superseded any local law or regulation that was inconsistent with or conflicted with the provisions of Iowa Code 142B. The desire to restore local control acted as a lynch-pin for garnering support from local governments and citizens’ groups. More than 35 city and county councils passed resolutions to restore local control and/or to take action around secondhand smoke.

Read more about current tobacco-related legislation in Iowa.

2013-2014 State Legislative Session: 1/14/2013 - 4/22/2014 (Est.); Recess: 5/24/2013 - 1/12/2014 (Est.)

State Quitline Number: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669)

Smokefree & Related News

JOST: Blue haze: E-cigarette debate heats up
Des Moines Register - June 1, 2014

Iowa Legislature passed a bill banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to consumers under the age of 18. Gov. Terry Branstad signed it into law on May 23. Whatever its origins, Iowa's new law shines a light on the complex, Cirque du Soleil-like twists...

Quirmbach defends attacks before primary
Ames Tribune - May 31, 2014

... who served with Quirmbach on the City Council and has commended him for his leadership there in passing the state's first local smoking ban ordinance.

Cedar Rapids mayor holds out hope for new casino
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - May 31, 2014

JOHNSTON | Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett said the casino plan for his city isn't dead yet because Gov. Terry Branstad seemed open to having a smoke-free ...

Restricting sale of e-cigarettes is the right move
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - May 29, 2014

For that reason alone, the sale of e-cigarettes to minors needed to be banned. ... Iowa lawmakers actually went a bit further and expanded the ban to include the sale ... because it follows that it could easily lead to harmful cigarette smoking. The tougher decision came in banning the sale of the items that contain no nicotine.

E-cigarette ban among bills governor signs
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - May 24, 2014

Gov. Terry Branstad signed 11 bills into law Friday, including a ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors in Iowa and a separate measure designed to create parameters for the use of drones, otherwise known as unmanned aerial vehicles....

Blue Zone Concerns Raised By Council Members
Oskaloosa news - May 23, 2014

Adopt a comprehensive smoke-free policy for all indoor workplaces and public places and a comprehensive smoke-free policy for all outdoor workplaces and/or ...

Branstad should veto e-cigarette law
DesMoinesRegister.com - May 22, 2014

In the last days of session, the Legislature passed H.F. 2109, which looks like it simply prohibits minors from purchasing e-cigarettes. However, this bill was ...

Smoke Free Homes Program benefits county
Mason City Globe Gazette - May 19, 2014

As community leaders, the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health understands the impact of healthy initiatives and appreciates community members ...

Panel hesitant on tobacco ban in Dubuque city parks
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - May 16, 2014

Group asks that Dubuque ban tobacco use in public parks, commission hesitates ... Anti-smoking advocates say banning tobacco use in Dubuque's public parks ...

Cedar Rapids mayor, city still fighting for casino
kwwl.com - May 15, 2014

He says the city could approach the IRGC with a new product, perhaps a "smoke-free" casino. Corbett believes that offering this kind of facility would make the ...

Corbett says he's in on Cedar Rapids casino for the long haul
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - May 14, 2014

A Cedar Rapids legislative proposal, he said, likely would call for the state's first smoke-free, Blue (wellness) Zone casino to be located in Cedar Rapids, a city ...

Smoke-free homes online
KIMT - May 8, 2014

MASON CITY, Iowa – If your looking for a new home and you'd like it to be smoke-free, we've got the answer for you. A new statewide registry is now available ...

Where there's no smoke, there's fire
UI The Daily Iowan - May 7, 2014

While this local business, located at 440 Kirkwood Ave., is voluntarily supporting a no-minors policy, Gov. Terry Branstad will ultimately decide whether to make it law to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors across the state. A spokesman for the governor said he would not indicate a position until reviewing the final text. He has 30 days to make a decision. The bill, House File 2109, marks Iowas foray into the national and even international debate surrounding the subject.

Tobacco Bowl remains open
UI The Daily Iowan - May 6, 2014

Smoke rings will still rise for now. The Tobacco Bowl, a cafe at 111 S. Dubuque S., was set to close in mid-April. However, customers are still puffing away at cigarettes and sipping at coffee. Connolly previously told The Daily Iowan the closing results from complaints from neighboring businesses and apartment residents about smoke odors and fears about stricter indoor smoking regulation. The business has been open for 25 years. Renovations to contain the odor are possible, but Connolly does not believe they are worthwhile.

E-cigarettes banned on campus | Chips
lutherchips.com – May 1, 2014

14 hours ago - Luther College has been a smoke-free campus for several years, and ... updated with a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

Iowa legislature passes ban on e-cigs for minors
WQAD.com -- Quad Cities News & Weather from WQAD - April 30, 2014

Possessing tobacco, e-cigarettes or vapor products could result in a fine of $50. Retailers caught selling to minors face penalties of $100 for a first offense, $250 ...

Your 2 Cents' Worth: April 30, 2014
DesMoinesRegister.com - April 30, 2014

There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. There is also no safe amount of secondhand car exhaust. We do not live in a perfectly clean world. Smoking outside should generally be allowed. Do we live in a free country? Must our government approve any risk that we take? Iowas state motto is: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain. We need to live up to our motto. Urbandale libertarian

Iowa Senate Bans Minor's Access to E-Cigarettes
KCRG - April 29, 2014

House File 2109 would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as the ... the ban to include the sale of fruit-flavored, nicotine-free e-cigarettes to children.

Senate bans minors' access to e-cigarettes
Quad City Times - April 29, 2014

DES MOINES The Iowa Senate voted 37-12 Monday to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products to minors in Iowa. House File ...

Today in the Iowa Legislature: April 28, 2014
DesMoinesRegister.com - April 28, 2014

On the floor, the Senate has five bills scheduled for debate, including the bill regulating electronic cigarettes that the House passed way back in February and ...

Hard Rock leaders show off Sioux City casino construction
Sioux City Journal - April 27, 2014

The elevated floor serves two purposes. The most important, from a customer standpoint: The below-ground space is needed for a state-of-the-art ventilation system that will constantly circulate fresh air on the casino floor, where smoking will be allowed. "It gets the smoke up and out of the building," Warner said.

Capitol Digest
Mason City Globe Gazette - April 26, 2014

CEDAR RAPIDS SMOKE-FREE CASINO OUT OF ORDER: Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids, made a last-ditch effort before the Legislature adjourns to keep alive the option of bringing a gambling casino to Cedar Rapids. In lieu of the state Racing and Gaming Commissions decision to reject Cedar Rapids casino license application earlier this month, Horn offered an amendment on the Senate floor on Friday to reopen the application until Aug. 1 for a casino in an Iowa City with a population of more than 50,000 that would agree to operate its facility as a smoke-free operation. Before the amendment could come to a vote, Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls, challenged whether the issue was germane to a bill dealing with greyhound racing. Senate President Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, ruled the bill had nothing to do with expanding the number of state-licensed casinos in Iowa in ruling Horns amendment ineligible for consideration. Senators then approved the dog-racing bill by a 46-2 margin.

Supervisors support ban on tobacco ads at Events Center
Mason City Globe Gazette - April 22, 2014

MASON CITY | Cerro Gordo County supervisors gave support Tuesday to a county Board of Health initiative to prohibit advertising of tobacco and nicotine ...

Legislative Update: State Sen. Jack Whitver
DesMoinesRegister.com - April 21, 2014

As you may have noticed, the presence of electronic cigarettes has increased in the state. As you walk into convenience stores around the state, many of them ...

CC Parks Soon Could Be Smoke Free
95-9 KCHA - April 17, 2014

Charles City, IA – A tobacco free policy has been written and revised by the Charles City Park Board and is now awaiting a final review that will take place at the ...

Ban smoking in apartment complexes (Editor's Inbox)
Mason City Globe Gazette - April 9, 2014

The state, city and county need more no-smoking laws. You can't smoke now in restaurants, public places, stores, malls ... but we need to go one step further: We need to go no-smoking in apartment complexes. There's talk of this, I'm told, but action needs to be taken. Some new complexes are now no-smoking.

Story County Board of Supervisors presents ordinance to limit e ...
Iowa State Daily - April 4, 2014

New York City has now banned e-cigarettes from being used in public ... this is why most people that try smoking usually end up becoming smokers themselves.

Care Center administration changes Employee Handbook
Akron Hometowner – [April 4, 2014?]

The trustees have also been working to enforce the No Smoking policy as the ... However, smoking is also banned in that location as all municipal properties are ...

Your 2 Cents' Worth: Friday, April 4, 2014
DesMoinesRegister.com - April 4, 2014

All red-light and speed cameras would be banned. The open burning ban ... The smoking ban would be lifted in all drinking establishments. Bars would be ...

E-CIGARETTE PLAN: Story City Considers Ordinance For Minors
whotv.com - April 3, 2014

Supervisors want to pass an ordinance making it illegal to buy e-cigs or nicotine cartridges if you are under 18. Currently there is no state law prohibiting the sale ...

New vaping lounge smoking up in Iowa City
kwwl.com - April 1, 2014

A lot of people are trying to quit smoking and many turn to electronic cigarettes to help kick the habit. With the e-cigarette industry lighting up, it's safe to say the ...

Last smoke: Popular Iowa City smoking cafe closing
The Gazette - March 31, 2014

One of the last hangouts for smokers in Eastern Iowa Tobacco Bowl in Iowa City is closing after more than two decades in business. The popular tobacco cafe on Iowa Citys pedestrian mall withstood the 2008 passage of a statewide smoking ban, tax hikes on nicotine and a public shift in attitudes about cigarettes. Its sad, but weve had a pretty good run, especially given what we do, said Luther Moss, Tobacco Bowl manager. In the end, it was complaints from neighbors that led to the demise of the Tobacco Bowl, Moss said. Business is fine, he said. We continue to make money. We havent had that problem exactly, but weve had a number of complaints about smoke. We are in an old building. It leaks. We came to an agreement with the landlords and will start something new.

Iowa Retailers Encourage Age-Restricted Sales for E-Cigarettes
NACS Online - March 31, 2014

Dawn Carlson, president the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa, which represents more than 2,000 business locations in Iowa, encouraged the state legislature to do the right thing and pass a bill that would restrict the sale of e-cigarettes and vapor products to those age 18 and older.

Will city follow county on electronic cigarette restrictions?
Clinton Herald - March 29, 2014

CLINTON Since July 1, 2008, smoking has been prohibited inside most facilities in the state of Iowa, but one thing that is not addressed in that Smokefree Air ...

Strong hand on the table
The Gazette - March 29, 2014

As for another related health problem, we still hope state legislators will some day snuff casinos exemption from the states smoke-free law that other businesses and workplaces must observe.

Iowa View: Do the right thing: Restrict sales of e-cigarettes
DesMoinesRegister.com - March 27, 2014

The law is often slow to keep up with technology, and that appears to be the case with electronic cigarettes. In the absence of federal regulation, 26 state ...

Pushing for tobacco-free parks
KIMT - March 25, 2014

CHARLES CITY, Iowa - There is a new push to make parks around one north Iowa town a little bit healthier. The Charles City Park and Recreation Board, along with FOCUS, a Floyd County substance abuse prevention program, are working together to eliminate tobacco use at public parks throughout the city. ...

Johnson County supervisors discuss use of e-cigarettes
The Gazette - March 25, 2014

The Johnson County board of supervisors are taking part in the discussion of e-cigarettes, but are focusing on the terminology of what to call the fast-rising products, rather than discussing the health aspects. ...

Shields announces campaign for Board of Supervisors
Clinton Herald - March 22, 2014

E-cigarettes banned from county buildings CLINTON -- It is official -- the use of electronic cigarettes will no longer be permitted inside Clinton County buildings.

Make it generous and non-smoking
The Gazette - March 22, 2014

Cedar Crossing should be the states first and only non-smoking gambling establishment. Cedar Rapids is, after all, a Blue Zone city seeking healthy lifestyles.

HEALTH BRIEFS
Quad City Times - March 21, 2014

Quad-Citians are invited to sign the Tobacco Free Quad-Cities' Tobacco-Free Parks petition, drafted to promote children's health through the limitation of ...

E-cigarettes banned from county buildings
Clinton Herald - March 21, 2014

CLINTON — It is official — the use of electronic cigarettes will no longer be permitted inside Clinton County buildings. A vote on Monday unanimously passed ...

Sioux City cleanup raises anti-tobacco awareness
Sioux City Journal - March 18, 2014

The National Kick Butts Day is used to help prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and to show support of policies needed to breathe smoke-free air.

Iowa Lawmakers Look To Regulate E-cigarettes
KWQC 6 - March 17, 2014

Buying e-cigarettes could soon be a thing of the past for Iowa teens if some lawmakers get their way. A measure is moving through the Iowa legislature that ...

E-cigarettes not allowed at MHS
Marshalltown Times Republican - March 14, 2014

"Typically for smoking, there would be a citation for underage possession of ... A Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday to completely ban the sale to minors. ... D-State Center, said he agrees and thinks e-cigarettes should be banned for ...

Hawkeyes Will Hold Open Football Practice in West Des Moines
University of Iowa Athletics - March 14, 2014

All WDMCS property, including Valley Stadium, is tobacco-free. There will not be a post-event autograph session. Iowa will begin spring drills on Wednesday, ...

Iowa Legislative 'funnel' ends hope for many 2014 bills
Insurance News Net (press release) - March 14, 2014

... banning minors' access to electronic cigarettes, regulating government and private use of drones, expanding access to broadband especially in rural areas, ...

Clinton Looks To Regulate E-Cigarettes
KWQC 6 - March 13, 2014

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussed banning e-cigarettes and other ... The City of Clinton already has a smoking ban in public parks during ...

Senate tackles E-Cigs
KMAland - March 13, 2014

Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says the ban would apply whether ... It simply bans the use of these simulated smoking devices, also known as .

Iowa panel supports e-cigarette ban for minors
WKBT La Crosse - March 13, 2014

E-cigarettes simulate the act of smoking by heating liquid and nicotine into a ... William Dotzler, D-Waterloo, said implementing a ban is important to ensure that ...

County moves to ban e-cigs in buildings
Clinton Herald - March 12, 2014

CLINTON Clinton County is moving forward to ban the use of electronic cigarettes and other nicotine delivery systems in county buildings. County Attorney Mike Wolf brought the idea of a policy to address the new devices to the Clinton County Board of Supervisors earlier this year. He presented a resolution Monday to the board to approve the policy. Chairwoman Jill Davisson advised that this policy will not prevent visitors from carrying e-cigarettes in the county courthouse or county administration building. Visitors will be banned from using the items inside the buildings.

Let marketplace control gaming
Quad City Times - March 7, 2014

The exemption allowing smoking in casinos, but not in other public places, shows the unnatural and undemocratic government bias towards gambling.

E-Cigarette Bill Passes in Iowa House
KCAU - February 25, 2014

Despite some pushback from lawmakers, a ban on the sale of ECigarettes to ... flavored, nicotine free e cigarettes, claiming the products targeted children. The bill is supported by tobacco retailers and the Iowa Association of School Boards....

AGE RESTRICTION: Bill Limits E-Cigarette Sales
whotv.com - February 24, 2014

A bill banning sales of e-cigarettes to minors is making its way to the Iowa Senate. Lawmakers across the country are looking at whether the e-cigarettes need ...

Legislators answer questions on wide array of topics at forum
Iowa City Press Citizen - February 23, 2014

At a forum Saturday in North Liberty, Iowa legislators spoke on topics ranging from education funding to a proposed e-cigarette ban to synthetic drugs.

Iowa legislators take first steps to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands ...
KTIV - February 23, 2014

"I polluted my wife and children's lungs for that long, exposing them to secondhand smoke, and I don't want to see my grand kids be exposed to the same ...

LETTER: Big Tobacco dupes Iowa House
Sioux City Journal - February 19, 2014

The bill I'm talking about creates a whole separate category under state law for electronic cigarettes. Basically the Iowa House just passed a bill that says a ...

Johnson County Health Officials Want Restrictions On E-Cigs
KCRG - February 19, 2014

The product should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18, and should not be used indoors, Beardsley said. It should model the smoke free air act, he said.

Rep. Heaton speaks on recent bill banning the sale of e-cigarettes to ...
KTVO - February 15, 2014

..."I felt that adults should have the right to be able to use e-cigarettes. We have nicorette gum, and we have other aids that have nicotine in them to help people ...

Iowa Legislature Tackling E-Cigarette Debate
KPTM-TV - February 13, 2014

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM) - The debate is back. This time it's the legislature in Iowa talking about electronic cigarettes. Lawmakers gave up a thumbs up this ...

So who should kids believe, the Legislature or a 'Dog with a Blog?'
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - February 13, 2014

The bill, House File 2109, prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under age 18. E-cigarettes are devices that heat liquid containing nicotine, forming ...

E-Cigarettes: Regulating a Changing Smoking Culture
Iowa Public Radio - February 13, 2014

Aliesha Kirby, one of Central Iowa Electronic Cigarettes' store managers, said they've never sold their products to minors and many of their customers use ...

E-Cigarettes Cause Controversy in Iowa Legislature
KCAU - February 12, 2014

Because e-cigarettes are vapor and don't emit second hand smoke, companies that make them argue they're a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, and ...

House approves ban on sale of e-cigarettes to minors
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - February 12, 2014

DES MOINES - Although some representatives quibbled with the definition and whether a ban on "Electronic Smoking Devices went far enough, the Iowa House voted 76-22 Tuesday to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Stop e-cigarette legislation (Editor's Inbox)
Mason City Globe Gazette - February 12, 2014

A key question any voter should ask when considering proposed legislation is who does this bill benefit? In the case of Iowa's e-cigarette bill the answer is the tobacco industry. Sure, on the surface the legislation seems to work against Big Tobacco. It supposedly just prevents minors from buying e-cigarettes. But look closer and you'll learn tobacco companies are snapping up e-cigarette makers in bulk. They're selling e-cigarettes like they used to sell traditional cigarettes with TV commercials, celebrity endorsements and fun fruity flavors. They're also introducing legislation nearly identical to the Iowa bill in states across the country. Do you think it's because they're suddenly concerned with public health? I seriously doubt it

House backs banning e-cigarettes for minors
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - February 12, 2014

Currently, there are no restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes in Iowa. ... not change the rules governing tobacco products and argued that once an e-cigarette lacks ... barring sales to minors, they also want e-cigarettes to be classed as tobacco ...

State should wait for feds on e-cigarettes
Muscatine Journal - February 12, 2014

Just about everyone (if not absolutely everyone) agrees that ingesting nicotine through the vapor provided by e-cigarettes is a significantly healthier (at least, ...

Harkin urges US pharmacy chains to follow CVS lead on tobacco sales
DesMoinesRegister.com - February 11, 2014

This could be the beginning of the end of cigarette sales in big chain drug stores, some Iowa health advocates believe. Now that CVS Caremark is pulling tobacco products from the shelves of its 7,600 U.S. stores, including 18 in Iowa, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa is leading a charge for other national pharmacy chains to follow suit.

Recent editorials published in Iowa newspapers
News & Observer - February 10, 2014

Nor would e-cigarettes be included in the restrictions outlined in the Smoke-Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking (but not necessarily vaping) in most public, ...

Beware fine print in e-cigarette legislation
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - February 9, 2014

The state legislatures rush to pass an e-cigarette bill should give Iowa voters pause. Why? Well, because the bill isnt what it seems. The way the bill is written, it doesnt just prohibit minors from buying e-cigarettes something everyone agrees is a good idea but does so in a way that creates numerous loopholes and exemptions in our states tobacco laws, specifically for e-cigarettes.

Our View: State should wait till feds weigh in on e-cigarettes
Iowa City Press Citizen - February 8, 2014

When it comes to the controversial question of how the state of Iowa should regulate e-cigarettes, there already are a few key points of common ground: Just about everyone (if not absolutely everyone) agrees that ingesting nicotine through the vapor provided by e-cigarettes is a significantly healthier (at least, less-dangerous) activity than ingesting nicotine through the combination of tobacco smoke, chemicals and carcinogens found in cigarettes.

E-cigs can cloud teen's judgments
Muscatine Journal - February 7, 2014

MUSCATINE, Iowa — While electronic cigarettes and other flavored vapor products are on Iowa lawmakers' minds right now, they don't seem to be clouding too ...

Shop offers alternative to cigarettes
Clinton Herald - February 6, 2014

CLINTON — Having a quick cigarette break has taken on a whole new meaning in ... woman is doing her part to join the growing trend of electronic cigarettes.

Legislators focus on e-cigarettes
UI The Daily Iowan - February 6, 2014

No, these aren't flavors of candy but rather those produced by electronic cigarette — or e-cigarette — companies, in attempts to appeal to prospective consumers ...

First Congregational United Church of Christ receives Blue Zones certification
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - February 5, 2014

First Congregational United Church of Christ, 608 W. 4th Street, has completed their Blue Zones certification. The committee is working toward adding a bike rack to encourage alternative transportation, making the facility a smoke-free campus and promoting volunteer opportunities throughout the Cedar Valley and beyond.

Iowa Democrats fail in attempt to legally define e-cigarettes as tobacco
Watchdog.org - February 5, 2014

Things got testy in the commerce committee as members of the Iowa House of Representatives discussed an amendment to a bill regulating e-cigarettes. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Chris Hall, D-Sioux City, would have defined e-cigarettes as tobacco products, even though the devices contain no tobacco.

Iowa lawmakers take another stab at e-cigarette bill
Sioux City Journal - February 4, 2014

DES MOINES | Critics who say a bill banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors doesn't go far enough said they'll take another stab at the measure as it moves to ...

Bill to ban e-cigarette sales to minors advances in Iowa Legislature
The Gazette - February 4, 2014

Legislation banning the sale of electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes to minors as approved 22-1 by an Iowa House committee 22-1 Monday, but faces an uncertain future despite what its sponsor called its relatively simple nature.

E-cigarettes face restriction
Iowa State Daily - February 3, 2014

E-cigarettes, often seen as an alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, might soon see a ban on sales to minors. A proposed local ordinance and state legislation could also mean tighter restrictions on such products.

Public health groups: Don't ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors
Watchdog.org - January 30, 2014

ROLES REVERSED: Subcommittee hearings on bills regulating e-cigarettes saw a reversal of traditional roles as retailers embraced the bill and health groups ...

Iowa legislative panels OK measures banning sale of e-cigarettes to ...
Greenfield Daily Reporter - January 29, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa Lawmakers in the Iowa House and Senate granted preliminary approval Tuesday to bills that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to ...

Will Iowa Be Next To Ban Use of E-cigarettes in Public Places?
Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog (blog) - January 29, 2014

Iowas Attorney General wants his state to ban the use of E-cigarettes wherever cigarette smoking is a banned. In a guest column on the op-ed page of todays Des Moines Register, I explain why doing so would be a terrible idea.

Another View: Iowa should tread carefully on e-cigarette rules
These don't have burning tobacco's health risks
Des Moines Register January 29, 2014

Attorney General Tom Miller would like the Iowa Legislature to change the states Smokefree Air Act to include the use of e-cigarettes. This would be a huge mistake.

Iowa Tobacco Control 2014
Blog for Iowa (blog) - January 29, 2014

When I was in the military, I bought my first and only packs of cigarettes. I tried a few puffs, and never had another. Tobacco control is a complicated issue that affects much of society, and has little to do with one persons choices about tobacco use. It is one where tobacco control advocates need to stick together.

Controversy over bill to ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors
Radio Iowa - January 28, 2014

A bill to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors has begun making its way through the Iowa legislature. However, public health advocates warn the bill is written so that e-cigarettes may not be subject to state tobacco taxes and smoking an e-cigarette in a public place may not violate the Iowa Smoke-Free Air Act.

Ban e-cigarettes for minors isn't enough for Iowa health advocates
Quad City Times - January 28, 2014

DES MOINES Iowa lawmakers are attempting to keep pace with the growing presence of electronic cigarettes with several bills banning minors from using the ...

Iowa should increase cigarette tax, spend more on anti-smoking ...
DesMoinesRegister.com (blog) - January 22, 2014

Iowa is making progress in combating smoking, but it could do much better, the American Lung Association says...

Where to vaporize?
Clinton Herald - January 22, 2014

CLINTON — Public officials are evaluating how the use of electronic cigarettes affect tobacco and smoking policies. Less than a week after the city of Chicago ...

Branstad unsure on e-cigarette taxation, but would not allow them in ...
DesMoinesRegister.com (blog) - January 8, 2014

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad offered no opinion on whether electronic cigarettes now rising in popularity should be taxed the same as traditional smokeable ...

Local e-cigarette retailer enforces law state does not
WQAD.com - December 17, 2013

In Iowa and Illinois, persons under the age of 18 can legally purchase e-cigarettes. But one Muscatine, Iowa retailer is enforcing her own laws that the state does ...

The Statehouse drive to protect us from the vapors
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - November 14, 2013

Last week, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller urged the Legislature to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, tax them like regular cigarettes and add them to ...

LCS revises smoke-free policy
Le Mars Daily Sentinel - November 13, 2013

LE MARS -- The Le Mars Community School District Board of Education has approved a revision to its policy on a smoke-free/tobacco-free environment.

Branstad 'absolutely interested' in regulating e-cigarette
Mason City Globe Gazette - November 13, 2013

2013-11-13T08:00:00Z Branstad 'absolutely interested' in regulating e-cigaretteBy JAMES Q. LYNCH For The Globe Gazette Mason City Globe Gazette.

OUR OPINION: It's time for e-cigarette discussion in Iowa
Sioux City Journal - November 12, 2013

Attorney General Tom Miller makes a good point about the need for the Iowa Legislature to talk about the use of electronic cigarettes in the state, particularly by ...

Report: Iowa tobacco tax revenue declines
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - November 12, 2013

DES MOINES -- Health officials think a drop in Iowa's tobacco tax revenue is linked to a state smoking ban and a federal tax increase on cigarettes, according to a state report. The state Department of Public Health said Iowa is on track to collect nearly $227 million in cigarette and tobacco taxes for the 2014 fiscal year. That's a 9 percent drop over a six-year period, The Des Moines Register reported.

Nico-teen? Not in Iowa - AG urges banning sales to minors
Muscatine Journal - November 6, 2013

During a Monday news conference, Miller also called for adding e-cigarettes to products covered by the state's Smoke-free Air Act and to tax them higher than ...

Iowa AG wants restrictions on sale of e-cigarettes
WBBJ-TV - November 5, 2013

Iowa lawmakers should ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and address how the product is taxed, Attorney General Tom Miller said Monday.

Miller wants to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors
DesMoinesRegister.com - November 4, 2013

... Monday he wants the Legislature to ban electronic cigarette sales to minors. ... Minnesota changed its definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, ...

New casino should be smoke-free
The Gazette - November 4, 2013

The new Cedar Rapids casino is missing a big chance to be unique and different. Have it all smoke-free. When we lived near Council Bluffs, we had chances to go to three casinos there for shows and food, not gambling so much. They all have smoke-free areas. Sorry to say that doesnt work. The smoking smells are everywhere inside. When you leave, you and your clothes stink.

ABC5 Special Report: E-Cigarettes in Iowa
WOI - November 1, 2013

In the early 2000's, the Chinese invented the ecigarette. ... Big tobacco has injected the market with millions of dollars in advertising for their cheaper and more ...

Web Extra: Hear from Iowa's Attorney General About E-Cigs
WOI - October 31, 2013

Iowa's Attorney General Tom Miller talks about the unregulated industry of e-cigarettes in Iowa.

Future of electronic cigarettes stuck in a haze
Northern Iowan - October 23, 2013

Electronic cigarettes, often referred to as e-cigs, are plastic or metal devices are commonly resemble cigarettes. They do not contain chemicals and additives that ...

EDITORIAL: No rush to regulate e-cigarettes
Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette - October 18, 2013

The Iowa Department of Public Health has yet to take a position. Any final decision about regulation of e-cigarettes needs their input and more quality research.

Hazy future for e-cigarettes in Iowa
Sioux City (IA) Journal - October 18, 2013

E-cigarettes exist in a legal limbo of sorts, where government is trying to play catch up to private enterprise. “There’s no current Iowa Department of Public Health position,” said Jerilyn Oshel, interim director of the department's Division of Tobacco

Q&A: Mason talks government shutdown, UI apartments, and E ...
UI The Daily Iowan - October 16, 2013

Q&A: Mason talks government shutdown, UI apartments, and E-Cigarettes .... DI: Last week, the UI Faculty Council debated where electronic cigarettes fit into the ...

U of I takes a look at e-cigarettes
DesMoinesRegister.com - October 10, 2013

The rising use of electronic cigarettes is sparking a conversation about the ... year, and that about one in five adult smokers had used electronic cigarettes.

Iowa school looks to broaden smoking ban to include e-cigarettes
WQAD.com - October 9, 2013

The University of Iowa may be broadening its campus-wide smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes. Administrators met on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 to ...

E-cigarette debate is smoking over lack of regulations
kwwl.com - October 9, 2013

E-cigs don't produce smoke, just vapor, so they aren't covered under Iowa's Smoke Free Air Act, put in place in 2008. Now many public spots which ban smoking ...

University of Iowa Considers Electronic Cigarette Ban
WOWT - October 9, 2013

Faculty and administrators at the University of Iowa are discussing whether to ban electronic cigarettes on the campus. Members of the university's Faculty ...

UI officials discuss ongoing e-cigarette debate
UI The Daily Iowan - October 9, 2013

While an escalating trend of nicotine vaporizers has encompassed the area, the University of Iowas smoke-free campus policy makes no mention of e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes should be snuffed out
Mason City Globe Gazette - October 8, 2013

We are opposed to e-cigarette use in public. No, some dont have dangerous nicotine and that foul odor or the cancer threat of second-hand smoke or make your clothes smell bad -- you know, all the cool things about smoking cigarettes. But they do look a lot like real cigarettes, and we think that seeing their use in public could lead to the perception that cigarettes themselves arent harmful to users. We're especially concerned about the impact on young people.

Jumer's is close, non-smoking casino
The Gazette - September 21, 2013

If a person wants an enjoyable time at a non-smoking casino, Jumers Casino in Rock Island, Ill., is a short distance down Interstate 80. It has no smoking, an affordable buffet that runs all day and daily drawings for some sort of prizes. The drive is worth it.

Smoking ban for all is fairer, healthier
The Gazette - September 17, 2013

When unveiling the latest plans for Cedar Crossing Casino, investors were quick to emphasize its uniqueness. Yet as different and striking as the proposed urban concept appears to be, its disappointingly similar to Iowas existing casinos in at least one aspect. Even though smoking is allowed on casino floors statewide, we had hoped investors would change their mind for the Cedar Rapids facility. Cedar Crossings recently filed license application to the Racing and Gaming Commission shows they havent. Smoking will be restricted to areas where there is proper ventilation and fire suppression equipment, the application states. In accordance with the Iowa Smoke-free Act, and Iowa Department of Health, fire rules and regulations will be strictly adhered to in non-smoking areas. We still hope theres wriggle-room in the Cedar Rapids plan. Meanwhile, the biggest hurdle remains: the state law. It's well past time for legislators to finally close the loophole and ban smoking in all state-licensed casinos.

Place a non-smoking area in casino
The Gazette - September 16, 2013

I have supported efforts to date through editorials because I feel it will add to the excitement and growth readily visible in our community. Now I read that smoking ...

Coe needs to step up anti-smoking efforts
The Gazette - September 12, 2013

The most recent Coe College alumni magazine contained three disturbing photos of our immediate past president publicly smoking cigars. It is troubling to learn that Coe has been tacitly endorsing the deadly addiction of tobacco, and especially at a Presbyterian school

State's duty to remedy casino exemption
The Gazette - September 12, 2013

I will sign it! Gov. Terry Branstads assurance at a town meeting if the Legislature brings the directive, No smoking in our state-regulated casinos, to his desk. However, it was then I interjected my major concerns with the health issue. I told the governor if Iowa is to receive accolades for being the healthiest state, we cannot be hypocritical and still allow smoking to exist in our casinos. According to the Des Moines Register, there are approximately 9,331 employees working in our state-regulated 18 casinos. If the Racing and Gaming Commission grants a license for the proposed Cedar Rapids casino, it is estimated this will employ an additional 350 full-time workers.

Report says Iowa fails in several areas for fighting cancer
Radio Iowa - August 15, 2013

The areas where Iowa did well on the report include: cancer pain control, access to Medicaid coverage and the statewide law banning smoking in most public places, though Iowa lost ground there, too, for still allowing smoking on casino floors.

Waverly mulls tobacco-free parks
Cedar Valley Daily Times - August 15, 2013

At least three Iowa towns banned tobacco use in city-owned parks, complexes and trails in 2013.

Park Board approves Parker's Woods playground contract
Mason City Globe Gazette - August 14, 2013

Also, the Board approved a plan that restrict smoking to an area west of the access road at Frederick Hanford Park. The new policy will go into effect next week, ...

Extend smoke-free law to casino workers
Quad City Times - August 2, 2013

While the Smoke Free Air Act bans smoking from most Iowa workplaces and restaurants, casinos are still at risk. This leaves the workers to choose to put ...

Making their case
Fort Dodge Messenger - July 16, 2013

CHURDAN - A casino would create about 250 new jobs in Greene County ... Rose Entertainment of West Des Moines, which has casinos in Emmetsburg and Clinton. ... Timmons said smoking would be permitted on the gaming floor, but there ...

Kehl tells council he's 'planning big' for Davenport
Quad City Times - July 11, 2013

Casino developer Dan Kehl told Davenport aldermen he is seeking a co-developer for a potential retail project to go alongside a land-based casino, creating a regional destination. The presentation received a generally warm response, but with some questions from aldermen. The questions ranged from having a smoking or non-smoking casino, competition with the Adler Theatre, and employment.

What others are saying: Make casinos smoke-free
DesMoinesRegister.com - July 10, 2013

Back then, Iowa had just adopted the Smokefree Air Act, banning smoking in most ... wisdom, decided back in 2008 to exempt casinos from the smoking ban.

Iowa City Trying to Smoke Out Cigarette Butt Problem
KCRG - July 9, 2013

They say the University of Iowa's campus smoking ban has pushed smokers to specific places downtown and those areas are getting choked with butts.

Our opinion: Make casinos smoke-free just like the rest of Iowa
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - July 8, 2013

Our Opinion: Make casinos smoke-free just like the rest of Iowa. Print Email. ... From the outset, there never has been a lick of fairness in the casino ban. ...

Hospitals see positives from the Smoke Free Air Act ($$)
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - July 8, 2013

Iowa hospitals have seen 9,800 fewer tobacco-related admissions since 2008. Health officials say that information from the American Heart Association is one of the signs the state's residents are healthier in the five years since the Smoke Free Air Act has been in effect.

IOWA NOW SMOKE-FREE FOR FIVE YEARS
Quad-City (IA) Times - July 5, 2013

Iowa's Smoke-Free Air Act reached its fifth anniversary this week, and health advocates are saluting the law that protects people from the cancer-causing chemicals known to exist in secondhand smoke.

Smoking law still needs one fix
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - July 4, 2013

This week marked the fifth anniversary of Iowa's hard-won Clean Indoor Air Act, which banned smoking in bars and restaurants. And while the law may still have ...

No Smoking
Ottumwacourier - July 4, 2013

Then those lawmakers passed an exception for the state's own casinos because they feared prohibiting smoking could cause revenue to drop by about a third, ...

Ban not so bad after all
The Gazette - July 2, 2013

Can you believe it's been five years since the smoking ban took effect? We lost some individual freedom that day, huh? Sure. We lost the freedom to stink up the ...

Bill Haglund: No smoking allowed (Except in rare instances)
Ames Tribune - July 1, 2013

And, yet, smoking is still allowed in casinos throughout the state. Nobody has had the guts put a stop it. Walk into a casino and a wave of smoke hits you; the ...

After 5 years, mixed emotions over smoking ban
kwwl.com - July 1, 2013

"Can't smoke anywhere anymore except outside, which I'm trying to quit anyways," he said. Kirkpatrick says the smoking ban doesn't keep him away, but he ...

Some business owners still hate smoking ban
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - July 1, 2013

"I've been a smoker for a lot of years," says John Kinter, owner of The Hangout in Riceville. "I also work really hard. I spent a lot of years in this business with my ...

Iowa: Five years smoke-free
UI The Daily Iowan - July 1, 2013

Ben Mummey has witnessed a lot of changes to downtown Iowa City since beginning his bartending career in 1997. He remembers the once-ubiquitous hazy environments in area taverns, especially on the night before the Iowa Smokefree Air Act went into effect, five years ago today. Everybody sat in here smoking, he said about June 30, 2008, working at the Deadwood Tavern, 6 S. Dubuque St. I bet everybody in here that night smoked a pack. I mean, it was so thick in here. The next day, smoking was banned in almost all of Iowas public places and enclosed areas in places of employment, as well as some outdoor areas.

Smoking foes to toast 5th anniversary of state smoking ban
DesMoinesRegister.com - July 1, 2013

The activists continue to call for cigarettes to be snuffed out in Iowa's casinos, ... we hope to close the casino loophole so that all Iowans can live healthier lives..

Iowa's smoke - free air law marks five - year anniversary
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - June 30, 2013
http://thegazette.com/2013/06/30/iowas-smoke-free-air-law-marks-five-year-anniversary-2/

DES MOINES The every-day effects of state action in 2008 to curtail smoking in public places hit home for key proponent Sen. Janet Petersen when her kindergarten-aged child did not know what an ash tray was. It took eight years to get that bill passed, said Petersen, who was a state representative then. Probably out of all the legislation Ive worked on, thats one that Im most proud of because I think its changed peoples every-day lives.

Iowa's smoke-free air law marks anniversary
Muscatine Journal - June 30, 2013

DES MOINES The everyday effects of state action in 2008 to curtail smoking in public places hit home for key proponent Sen. Janet Petersen when her kindergarten-aged child did not know what an ash tray was.

Is there such a thing as a safe cigarette?
Fort Madison (IA) Daily Democrat - June 27, 2013

... to think that taking out the harmful parts of smoking a cigarette would make it safer. Lee County Health Department Prevention and Wellness Coordinator Emily Carrick couldn’t confirm that was the case — but at this point, the medical field ...

Out go the lights: Tobacco banned at some events
Clinton Herald - June 27, 2013

CLINTON — Smokers will have to ditch their cigarettes at youth events after the Clinton City Council approved a smoking ban at youth-structured activities and ...

Clinton Council Votes For Smoking Ban
KWQC 6 - June 26, 2013

Smokers in Clinton, Iowa will soon have fewer places to light up after the city council voted four to two in favor of a smoking ban at city-sponsored youth sporting events in its public parks.

Smoking Ban one step closer in Clinton Parks
cbs4qc.com - June 12, 2013

Update: Smoking is already banned in bars and restaurants. ... city council will be voting on phase one, which bans smoking near "structured youth activities", ... Not a certain group of people banning it," said mother of three, Melissa Hopkins.

Clinton Council Advances Proposed Smoking Ban
KWQC 6 - June 12, 2013

The anti smoking group in Clinton would pay for new no smoking signs if the ban is approved. Smoking is already banned in restaurants, bars, and other public ...

Clinton considers expanding smoking restrictions
kwwl.com - June 10, 2013

The state of Iowa already prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places, but now one Iowa city is considering additional restrictions. Clinton city leaders are looking to ban smoking in city parks while youth sports and other events are going on. That ban would include city-owned soccer and baseball fields and other outdoor sports complexes.

Letter: Friday is World No Tobacco Day
Ames Tribune - May 30, 2013

Since 1987, May 31 has been dedicated to the celebration of World No Tobacco Day. This special day was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) to draw attention to the impact that tobacco has on todays worldwide population. Each year, approximately 6 million people, of which more than than 600,000 are non-smokers, die from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to WHO. It also reports global tobacco use has become the leading cause of preventable death and causes the death of one in 10 adults.

Cedar Rapids turns attention to restrictions on alcohol, tobacco shops
Gazette - May 23, 2013

May 23, 2013 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The City Council is going to study if it wants to place tighter regulations on alcohol and tobacco stores that might require them to locate farther from places like day care centers and from other shops that sell alcohol and tobacco. Thomas Smith, a planner in the city's Community Development Department, told the council's Development Committee on Wednesday that the cities of Davenport, Des Moines and Waterloo had more stringent regulations for alcohol and tobacco sales than Cedar Rapids while Iowa City, Ames, Council Bluffs and Sioux City did not.

Muscatine To Talk HUD Smoking Ban
KWQC 6 - May 9, 2013

The Muscatine city council will review a plan to ban smoking from public housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development or "HUD" is recommending all of it's facilities go smoke free. Muscatine is looking to follow its advice, specifically the city is looking at making Clark House and Sunset Park smoke free. The apartment complexes house low income, elderly and disabled. Currently, people can smoke in their apartments and outside.

Iowa launches website on smoke-free environments
WKBT La Crosse - April 26, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have launched a website that highlights the benefits of living in smoke-free environments. The state Department of Public Heath says the website provides education and awareness to people who live within multi-unit housing like apartments. The website features sections for tenants, property owners and managers of multi-unit housing. It provides steps on how to make a home smoke-free. ...

Smoked out: Some residents unhappy about owners reversing smoking ban in apartments
Iowa City Press Citizen – April 4, 2013

When Bob Lane moved into his apartment at Coralville’s Coral Village complex three years ago, he said he made sure he was moving into a smoke-free building. … However, after a recent change in ownership of the building at 1799 Fifth St., Lane said he is no longer safe from secondhand smoke in his own home. … Soon after, tenants say they were informed that the building’s no smoking policy was being lifted in residents’ apartments. Common areas such as hallways remain no-smoking. …

Community Partners helps Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy go smoke-free
SW Iowa News - March 8, 2013

Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy’s Council Bluffs ethanol plant is now smoke-free.
The plant went smoke-free on March 1, with the help of Community Partners in Tobacco Control. …

Hot-button issues don't make cut in Legislature
DesMoinesRegister.com - March 8, 2013

… Here are 10 bills ­ several each from the Iowa Senate and House ­ that appear dead for the 2013 legislative session. … Casino smoking ban (Senate Study Bill 1107)
The bill aimed to prohibit smoking in the state’s 18 commercial casinos by removing an exemption to Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act that currently allows the practice. Smoking is generally banned in enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants, and places of employment under the 2008 law. But the state’s gambling industry has strongly opposed extending the ban to their facilities, arguing it would hurt profits, force at least 1,500 layoffs and cost the state $60 million to $80 million in lost tax revenue. The measure stalled in a Senate subcommittee. …

Munson: Linn County bid for new casino not a good bet, ex-dealers ...
Indianapolis Star - March 8, 2013

RIVERSIDE, IA. ­ The two most disappointed residents here this week might be a pair of former blackjack dealers who don’t know each other, yet share the view that Iowa is saturated with casinos, so let’s not rush to build more. … Strabala alone represents a well-rounded view of most issues in the casino debate. He reached out after I wrote last week about how casinos should go smoke-free. He quit cigarettes precisely 30 years ago and went on to lead the same smoking-cessation program he had used. …

Iowa casino companies make case for customers to light up
kwwl.com - March 6, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - Iowa casino heads say a smoking ban in their establishments will hurt their bottom line. That's the message they gave to lawmakers at their annual visit to the state capitol building, called gaming day. It's an opportunity for the managers and operators of Iowa's casino's to meet one-on-one with lawmakers. "Maintain a good strong rapport," said Wes Ehrecke, CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association. Wes Ehrecke is the man behind "gaming day." He says one of his biggest goals is to get lawmakers to understand just how important gambling is to the state. …

Casinos are predatory
The Gazette - March 1, 2013

There are four ways casinos could be made healthier and less predatory: no credit/cash machines in the casino, have loss limits, no smoking, and require casino ...

Munson: Casinos' refusal to go smoke-free puzzling
DesMoinesRegister.com - February 24, 2013

… Here’s what befuddles me most: None of these casinos, neither the hopefuls nor the existing facilities, has gone smoke-free to gain a competitive edge. Instead, the Iowa gaming industry continues to howl just the opposite, that kicking cigarettes would cost the state as much as $80 million in lost tax revenue and some 1,500 jobs. I don’t get it. How does that pass a common-sense test nearly five years after smoking was banned in Iowa’s bars and restaurants? There are hundreds of smoke-free casinos nationwide. When it comes to a lucrative customer base, haven’t we seen decades of socioeconomic data that show greater concentration of wealth among nonsmokers compared with the fewer and fewer of those who light up? Which way do you think the smoking trend is going? If the casinos wised up, we’d be on the verge of an avalanche of stench-free slots without any need for legislation. Even sheer greed at this point should recommend going smoke-free. …

Scott County Board of Health endorses a casino smoking ban
Quad City Times - February 23, 2013

Scott County Board of Health members have issued two unrelated calls for action, one that smoking be prohibited in any new casino built in Davenport and another to continue Iowa’s prohibition on the sale of raw milk. …

Iowa capitol digest
Quad City Times - February 22, 2013

NO SMOKING, NOWHERE: Iowa City Democrat Rep. Mary Mascher has introduced legislation to ban smoking in casinos. House File 297 would eliminate the ...

Banning smoking on casino floors is a healthy idea
Mason City Globe Gazette - February 20, 2013

We doubt that such a ban will ever come to fruition but it doesn't hurt to keep the ... Iowa was on the “forefront of forward-thinking” when smoking was banned in ...

Let's make new C.R. casino smoke-free
The Gazette - February 19, 2013

If the (Linn County) casino vote passes, the developers should strongly consider having it, and all surrounding areas, smokefree. There are many good reasons.

End smoking in Iowa's casinos
Fort Dodge Messenger - February 19, 2013

Iowa is among those states where smoking in bars, restaurants, workplaces and assorted other venues frequented by the public is forbidden. The public policy goal of producing healthier communities by banning smoking in such locations makes sense. What does not make sense, however, is an exemption for casinos granted in the present law - Iowa's Smokefree Air Act. This provision has no merit. …

Clearing the air on casino smoking
Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette - Feb 17, 2013

Some inquiring readers wonder whether a potential Cedar Rapids casino will or won't allow smoking while gambling. "If Linn County gets a casino, it won't be for everyone; really it will only be for the smokers, if my past experiences with the current ...

Muscatine Considers Smoke Free Public Housing
KWQC 6-Feb 15, 2013

Update: Police say they have recovered a body from the Mississippi River. No further details are available. Police and emergency crews are on the shore of the ...

Bill to ban smoking in Iowa casinos stalls
DesMoinesRegister.com-February 13, 2013

Smoking is otherwise generally banned in enclosed public places under the 2008 law, ... Petersen said in an interview that the issue of banning casino smoking ...

Effort to ban smoking in casino gaming areas stalls
Muscatine Journal-February 13, 2013

DES MOINES – Hopess for anti-tobacco forces to ban smoking at the gambling ... free and that 500 state-regulated casinos in 20 states have banned smoking.

Hopes for casino smoking ban left smoldering
Sioux City Journal-February 13, 2013

A smoking ban would put the Argosy Sioux City at an unfair disadvantage with two nearby Native American casinos, Argosy general manager Lance George ...

Should smoking be banned in casinos?
KCCI Des Moines-February 12, 2013

Jack Hatch, who has supported efforts to expand the ban, says it would be a ... He says the information provided in 2008 was that a smoking ban would hurt ...

Panel will consider bill banning casino smoking in Iowa
Quad City Times - February 12, 2013

DES MOINES ­ State senators will discuss legislation that would ban smoking in Iowa casinos. A Senate subcommittee was scheduled to discuss the proposal Tuesday. Casinos were exempted from Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act when it passed in 2008. Democratic Sen. Jack Hatch, who has supported efforts to expand the ban, says it would be a public health benefit. But he questioned whether the bill would have much support in the Legislature. …

CasinoClash 13 Update – Vote-no poll shows close race
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines - February 12, 2013

Your Iowa Senate is preparing to debate a measure that would ban smoking in state-licensed casinos. Casino interests have strongly opposed such move in the ...

Iowa lawmakers consider banning smoking in casinos
Sioux City Journal - February 12, 2013

Iowa lawmakers consider banning smoking in casinos. Panel will ... He says the information provided in 2008 was that a smoking ban would hurt casino income.

Casino will create safe haven for smokers
The Gazette - February 5, 2013

Once again we are trying to create the perfect healthy community, while at the same time holding a vote to create a legalized smoking haven (casino). Not only is ...

Iowa Governor Wants No More Smoking In Casinos: However, No Developments In Legislature That Could Institute The Change
CardPlayer.com - January 21, 2013

Radio Iowa reported that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is hoping that state lawmakers eventually send him a proposal to ban smoking in state’s casinos. Currently, smoking indoors is prohibited at all other establishments in the state. “I just think in terms of fairness, we have a law that’s designed to protect people’s health having clean indoor air,” Branstad told Radio Iowa. “They have an exception.” …

Red Oak Council extends tobacco ban
KMA Broadcasting (Shenandoah, IA) - January 8, 2013

The Red Oak City Council met in regular session Monday night and voted to extend the non-tobacco ban on city owned property to include any form of tobacco. …

Governor would ban smoking at casinos "tomorrow"
Radio Iowa - December 24, 2012

A statewide ban on smoking in public places has been in effect since 2008, with one exception: smoking is still allowed on the gaming floors of Iowa casinos. Republican Governor Terry Branstad says if legislators pass a bill to ban smoking at the casinos, he “would sign it tomorrow.” The statewide smoking ban was signed into law by Democratic Governor Chet Culver, but Branstad has been an anti-smoking crusader during his political career. One of his first acts as governor in 1983 was to remove all the ashtrays and forbid smoking in the governor’s office and the official residence. Branstad says ending smoking on the casino floor is a public health issue. …

Letter: Put an end to smoking in casinos ($$)
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - December 19, 2012

Thanks to Kevin DeMoss for his Dec. 12 letter to the editor about smokers at our casinos. He is right on. …

Smoking bans = fewer hospital visits
Big News Network.com - December 16, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Hospital admissions for acute heart attacks fall about 20 percent 36 months after restaurant, bar and workplace smoking bans, U.S. ...

Letter: Clear the air on casinos' smoking policies ($$)
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - December 12, 2012

Dubuque casinos should be ashamed! Why is it that a non-smoker cannot enter and enjoy a Dubuque casino the way a smoker would, without endangering their health and leaving smelling like an ashtray? I'll tell you why, because they put profit above the health of their employees and customers! …

Study: Smoking bans prevent illnesses
Iowa City Press Citizen-by Tara Bannow - December 10, 2012

Researchers at the Iowa City VA Health Care System have completed what they say is the most extensive study yet regarding the positive health effects of smoking bans. “This is the first study we’re aware of that has actually looked at smoking bans in each and every county in the United States,” said Mark Vander Weg, also an associate professor in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. “We were able to find out what the laws were and how that related to hospitalization for these different diseases.” …

Four Years Later Bars and Restaurants See Positives to Smoking Ban
WOI (IA) - November 16, 2012

When the smoking ban went into effect in July 2008, a few businesses closed while others say the ban actually helped increase customers. Stephanie Jewett ...

Rhythm City sale comes up for vote tonight
Quad City Times - October 24, 2012

Aldermen and staff held seven ward meeting and one citywide forum to answer questions ranging from financing to smoking. The city would buy the casino ...

No Smoking In New Casino?
KWQC 6 - October 23, 2012

Residents have already started voicing their concerns about the City of Davenport's plan to buy the Rhythm City Casino, from the price tag to the plans for the new casino. Now they're voicing concerns on whether to allow smoking in the new casino or not. … "Do the sensible thing and put a ban on this smoking in casinos," QC Resident Dan Dugan says. Dugan says he's all for the city's new casino plan, but is forming ...

Smoking among UI students hits lowest rate
Iowa City Press Citizen - September 3, 2012

That's down more than 5 percent from four years ago, when a campus-wide smoking ban was implemented alongside the state's 2008 Smoke Free Air Act.

Close smoking loophole
Youngstown Vindicator - July 3, 2012

Last summer, Gov. Terry Branstad announced his goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the country. A good step in that direction would be to close the gaping loophole in the state’s smoking ban, which marks its fourth anniversary this weekend. …

Iowa smoking ban not as dire as predicted: Sales up at restaurants, taverns
Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette - Jun 30, 2012

On a quiet, weekday late afternoon, it’s the same as it ever was at the Green Gable Inn. Almost. … Annual sales at restaurants and taverns increased nearly $80 million since the law took effect, to more than $3.4 billion last year, according to statistics from the Iowa Department of Revenue. …

Our opinion: Healthier Iowa calls for closing smoking loophole ($$)
Dubuque Telegraph Herald - June 29, 2012

Last summer, Gov. Terry Branstad announced his goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the country. A good step in that direction would be to close the gaping loophole in the state's smoking ban, which marks its fourth anniversary this weekend. When the state banned smoking in public places in 2008, lawmakers cowed to the casino lobby and allowed gambling establishments an exemption to the ban. So despite a statewide ban by which every other business abides, gamblers are allowed to smoke away in Iowa's casinos. It just doesn't make sense. …

Iowa Senate approves Internet poker measure; House to consider ...
Newton Daily News - March 14, 2012

…Amendments that would have diverted the new revenue to the state’s roads and another that would have banned smoking on casino floors did not pass. …

Should Iowa casinos participate in nonsmoking event?
UI The Daily Iowan - November 14, 2011

"We are doing a lot of proactive things to accommodate both smokers and nonsmokers. We think that adults should be able to make adult decisions in adult ...

Iowa casinos won't ban smoking during Smokeout
DesMoinesRegister.com - William Petroski - November 11, 2011

Smokers will still be puffing on cigarettes at Iowa's casinos on Thursday, when some other Iowans are going smoke-free during the “Great American Smokeout. ...

Tobacco opponents worry anti-smoking efforts will be curtailed
Eastern Iowa Government (SourceMedia Group), 2011-08-05
Rod Boshart/SourceMedia Group News

Anti-tobacco advocates Friday decried spending cuts to state programs that are deterring young people from starting to use tobacco products and Branstad administration efforts to reshape tobacco prevention and control strategies ­ with some warning of legal action to block changes that could reverse smoking cessation successes. ...

Quirmbach sounds alarm on public health firing
Says IDPH intention is to end smoking cessation program
Iowa Independent (AINN), 2011-08-01
Meghan Malloy

In a letter to media editors in Iowa, Sen. Herman Quirmbach expressed discontent with the firing of Bonnie Mapes by Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and shared concerns about the future of the division with other anti-smoking lobbying groups. ...

Senators: Anti-smoking official’s dismissal was illegal
Des Moines (IA) Register blogs, 2011-08-05
Tony Leys

Two state senators are accusing Iowa’s public-health director of breaking the law when she dismissed the state’s top anti-smoking official last month and handed her duties to another administrator. ...

LETTER: Cuts to anti-smoking work shortsighted
Des Moines (IA) Register, 2011-08-05
State Sen. Herman Quirmbach, ex-officio member of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Commission, Ames

While Lance Armstrong and other anti-cancer advocates were in Carroll promoting tobacco cessation and other wellness initiatives, the Branstad administration was hard at work undercutting their efforts. ...

Graphic smoking billboards to be cut
Des Moines (IA) Register, 2011-08-06
TONY LEYS

Iowans no longer will be confronted with stark anti-smoking billboards and ads from a state-sponsored youth group, a leading tobacco-control official said Friday. ...

Democrats threaten lawsuit over elimination of tobacco prevention director
IowaPolitics.com , 2011-08-05
Lynn Campbell IowaPolitics.com

Two Democratic state senators allege a department director broke the law when she eliminated the administrator's job at the Iowa Division of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control. ...

Iowa House rejects adding casinos to smoking ban
BusinessWeek - Mike Glover - May 4, 2011

Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, sought to include the expansion of the smoking ban in a larger gambling bill, but the House rejected her effort with little ...

Anti-tobacco groups pushing to expand smoking ban
Associated Press (AP), 2011-02-23
MIKE GLOVER

Anti-tobacco advocates are stepping up their efforts to expand Iowa's smoking ban to include casinos, but acknowledged Wednesday that they're running out of time and facing heavy resistance from influential gambling interests. ...

Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance: 79% of Iowa voters agree : Smokefree Air Act has made Iowa Better
IowaPolitics.com (press release) - February 23, 2011

Des Moines — A new poll released today finds 79% of Iowa voters feel the Smokefree Air Act (SFAA) has made Iowa a better place to live. ...

Iowa’s largest apartment complex going smoke-free after fire blamed on cigarette
Radio Iowa, 2011-02-09

Iowa's largest apartment complex is going smoke-free following a fire last month that was blamed on improperly discarded cigarettes.

Keith Denner is president of Professional Property Management – which owns the Sun Prairie Apartments in West Des Moines. He says nine of the 41 buildings in the complex were declared smoke-free a year-and-a-half ago. "The fire kind of took us over the hump and we just decided we’re going to go 100-percent,"Denner said.

Current tenants will be allowed to continue smoking in their apartments through July 1. After that date, residents caught lighting up in their apartments or on their balconies will receive a warning and could be evicted if the behavior continues. "We are going to provide places for our tenants to smoke on the property," Denner said. "They can smoke in their cars or they can smoke in some outdoor areas we are going to provide." ...

SMOKING OUT: Two years after the smoking ban Iowans are healthier
WHO-TV - Emily Carlson - February 6, 2011

Fans were banned from lighting up in bars and restaurants on Super Bowl Sunday, but new research shows that ban is saving lives.

It's been two years since the Smoke Free Air Act went into effect in Iowa. It prohibits smoking inside all bars and restaurants. The University of Iowa says in the two years Iowa has been smoke free, Iowans reduced their risk of heart disease by staggering numbers.

"Hospital admissions related to heart disease is much less, including stroke after the Smoke Free Air Act," says Dr. Enrico Martin of the Iowa Heart Center.

Admissions have gone down 24%, according to the University of Iowa. In just months, heart attack cases are down 8%. Strokes are down 5%. It's all thanks to the simple action of moving smokers outside. It's a break fans in the service industry are cheering about ...

Iowa receives fewer smoking complaints
Quad City Times - January 5, 2011

The Iowa Department of Public Health is fielding fewer smoking ban complaints and few are about businesses flouting the law like a Davenport bar that will serve a liquor license suspension next month.

In fiscal year 2008, the health department received 2,100 valid complaints, followed by 759 in fiscal year 2009.

This fiscal year, about 400 valid complaints are expected, said Brent Saron, a community health consultant ...

Repeal of smoking exemption could be next issue for casinos
Radio Iowa - Dar Danielson - November 8, 2010

Gambling referendums passed last week in all 17 of the communities that are currently home to casinos, allowing them to continue operating. The next big issue facing the gambling establishments could the smoking exemption, as both candidates for governor said they would sign a ban into law if it passed the legislature. Iowa Gaming Association president, Wes Ehrecke, says they don’t want to see a smoking ban for casinos passed.

Ehrecke says they hope it doesn’t pass and they want to “educate” Governor-elect Branstad and newly elected leaders on the “fact that it would be a competitive disadvantage with the tribal nation casinos that have a sovereign nation status.” Ehrecke says banning smoking would have a negative impact on casino revenues ...

Is Iowa smoking ban obsolete? Questions on Reynolds, rugby, I-Jobs
Daily Times Herald - November 5, 2010

Has the Iowa smoking ban had its intended effect?

In other words, is the law obsolete? Did it provide the needed cover two years ago to bars and gathering places frightened to make the smoke-free move?

Could it be lifted simply based on the fact that many places wouldn’t go back, and those that do would feed a niche market of sorts?

Bar workers and waitresses who don’t want to be around smoke (and these were the people the ban was intended to protect) now have no issues finding jobs in venues without billows of blue smoke blasting into their nostrils.

So why is our government where it is not needed? The law served as a catalyst. Now yank it, State of Iowa, and do something else with your time.

I put the question or theory to Attorney General Tom Miller on the campaign trail a few days ago. Do we still need the ban?

“I think we still do,” he said ...

City Council changes smoking ban
UI The Daily Iowan - October 28, 2010

Smoking in prohibited areas has gone from a municipal infraction to a simple misdemeanor with a $50 fine.

Violations in areas such as the Pedestrian Mall and Farmers’ Market are now criminal offenses, the city councilors decided at Tuesday’s meeting.

According to the agenda, Iowa City police have issued the civil citations but prefer the change.

Municipal citations require police to carry different forms with them and require the city to prepay a $85 filing fee. With simple misdemeanors, the forms are the same as the ones used for PAULAs and traffic tickets ...

E-Cigarettes bypass smoking ban
Grand Views (Grand View University), 2010-10-08
Devlin Hogans

"Bartender! Is that guy over there doing what I think?" the customer asks. "He is," the bartender replies "But it is legal."

Electronic cigarettes have allowed smokers to bypass the ban enacted in July 2008 to halt smoking in public places. Currently, the law only refers to products that are burned and does not prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes, even to minors.

Bill Roach, a spokesman for the Iowa attorney's general office, has stated e-cigarettes were unforeseen when the ban was passed. They do not violate any rules because they only employ a heating element. . . .

The American Lung Association has even written to the mall managers to hopefully evict the business under the principle that it ruins the family oriented atmosphere.

Culver would ban smoking in casinos if elected
Sioux City (IA) Journal, 2010-09-09
Rod Boshart Lee Des Moines Bureau Sioux City Journal

Gov. Chet Culver said he would support extending Iowa's workplace smoking ban to include casino floors if he succeeds in winning a second term by defeating Republican Terry Branstad in the Nov. 2 election.

"I think that's the logical next step," Culver told reporters in touting progress Iowa has made in combating smoking during his first term as governor during a discussion of the health-care initiatives he would like to pursue if given a second, four-year term by Iowa voters.

Culver said the smoke-free workplace law he signed in 2008 is among the nation's most comprehensive but he said it made "common sense" to prevent exposure to potential harmful second-hand smoke for all Iowa workers. "I know that Iowans are also very upset about the exemption that was carved out for those casinos and a lot of people were wondering why that was." ...

Number of tobacco retailers drops by a third
Radio Iowa - Kay Henderson - July 27, 2010

There’s been a dramatic reduction in the number of Iowa businesses that sell cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.

Bonnie Mapes is director of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Control division. She and her staff have been keeping track of the number of permits issued to Iowa businesses for the sale of tobacco products.

“In 2003 and 2004, we had about 5500 retail permits in the state,” Mapes says. “Then we saw with the passage of the tobacco tax a slight drop and then, with the passage of the Smokefree Air Act, we really saw a much larger drop.” ...

Smoking ban won't harm casino business
DesMoinesRegister.com - July 27, 2010

The Iowa Gaming Association (IGA) has long argued that banning smoking in the casinos would hurt revenues.

Recently, IGA released a report saying that Iowa's 17 state-regulated casinos reported a loss in gambling revenue due to the economy. During the same period, the border casino in Rock Island, Ill., where smoking is not allowed, has seen growth. That supports the smoke-free-air advocates' position that smoke-free air does not cause a loss of revenue, and may even have the opposite effect. We know smoke-free casinos would keep the employees and the customers healthier.

Casino workers are the most exposed to secondhand smoke, and the least protected. It's time to give Iowa casino workers the same protection other Iowa workers enjoy. Make casinos smoke free. Everyone has a right to breathe smoke-free air. ...

IC City Council to Discuss Downtown Anti-Panhandling Measures
KCRG - Gregg Hennigan - April 22, 2010

...The council also will consider banning smoking in the Pedestrian Mall...

Duncan drops fight against smoking ban
Bar owner says stress, health issues drove decision
Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye, 2010-04-10
CHRISTINIA CRIPPES

Duncan learned April 1 Des Moines County District Court Judge Mary Ann Brown found the Iowa Smokefree Air Act and his treatment by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division completely constitutional.

The ruling came three months shy of two years since the ban has been in effect and Duncan challenged the law.

On Friday, after talking with Bunger, Duncan opted against challenging Brown's ruling.

"It was a very gut-wrenching decision, because he has such a strong belief that the politicians violated the Constitution," Bunger said. "The problem is, it has been a long and arduous fight."

Bunger said the struggle has had an emotional impact on Duncan and that stress led to physical health problems, most recently evidenced by trips to the hospital the weekend after the judge's ruling. Even Friday, Bunger was speaking on Duncan's behalf because the owner of Otis Campbell's and Aunt Bea's wasn't up for talking. . . .

Just because he's given up his legal fight doesn't mean Duncan will not still be politically active against the "unfair, unjust, unconstitutional" law. ...

State ban on smoking in public places upheld
Des Moines (IA) Register, 2010-04-02
WILLIAM PETROSKI

A state district court has upheld the constitutionality of Iowa's Smokefree Air Act, which bans smoking in most public places.

Judge Mary Ann Brown, in a 32-page decision made public Thursday, affirmed the findings of state alcoholic beverage regulators who revoked the liquor license of Otis Campbell's, a bar in West Burlington.

"There is no fundamental or protected right to smoke in public or allow patrons to smoke in a public business," Brown wrote. "The bar was not deprived of any property when smoking was banned; it was not denied the right to carry on its business, nor was it denied any specific group of customers." ...

Smoking ban may extend
UI The Daily Iowan - March 23, 2010

A proposed revision to Iowa City’s no-smoking policy may include a 24-hour smoking ban for the Pedestrian Mall, Iowa City city councilors said at a Monday work session. ...

Iowa Department of Public Health: Cigarette sales drop 52 percent, but teens ...
IowaPolitics.com (press release) - March 8, 2010

Cigarette sales drop 52 percent, but teens still at risk

Report highlights effectiveness of laws, youth awareness

Iowans are smoking less, though young people continue to be at risk for starting. That’s according to a report released today by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Conducted by the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Behavioral Research, the 2009 Tobacco Control Progress Report shows that Iowa and the state health department have made a number of advances in reducing smoking since 2000. Most recently, the report finds there has been a dramatic decrease in cigarette consumption in Iowa. Data from the Iowa Department of Revenue show that cigarette sales in Iowa remained steady from 2000 to 2006. Since that time, however, per capita consumption of cigarettes has plummeted from 112 to 54 in 2009.

“The fact that Iowans are smoking half as many cigarettes now is clearly attributable to the $1 cigarette excise tax in 2007 and the 2008 Smokefree Air Act,” said Cathy Callaway, chair of the Iowa Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Commission. “The importance of policies like these in improving health and saving lives cannot be underestimated.”

Unfortunately, efforts to reduce tobacco use among young Iowans have slowed in the past few years. Despite impressive declines in youth smoking in Iowa since 2000, the report shows that success has slowed. For example, cigarette use among high school students (at 19.9 percent) in 2008 was roughly the same level it was in 2004 (19.5 percent). Among middle school students, use was down only slightly from 3.6 percent in 2006 to 2.8 percent in 2008. ...

Wide range of Iowans approve of smoking ban
DesMoinesRegister.com - February 24, 2010

Seven in 10 Iowans say they think it was a good idea for the state to ban smoking in most public places, a new Iowa Poll finds.

The ban, which affected bars, restaurants and most workplaces, went into effect in July 2008. In the new Iowa Poll, 71 percent of Iowans say it was a good idea, 26 percent say it was a bad idea, and 3 percent are unsure.

The poll shows the ban is popular among a wide range of groups, including Republicans and Democrats, and young adults and senior citizens. Education was one of the only factors that showed a direct correlation: The more education you have, the more you think the ban was a good idea. ...

American Cancer Society: Heart disease admissions down 24 percent since ...
IowaPolitics.com (press release) – January 14, 2010

DES MOINES, IA – The American Cancer Society welcomed legislators back at its annual Legislative Breakfast today at the Capitol with the good news that a new study shows dramatic improvements in Iowans’ cardiovascular health since the Iowa Smokefree Air Act was passed in 2008.

The study examined data submitted to the Iowa Department of Public Health summarizing the number of monthly hospitalizations between July 2005 and June 2009 for cardiovascular diseases caused or made worse by smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke.

“We found a 24 percent reduction in hospital admissions due to coronary heart disease in the year after the Smokefree Air Act was passed compared with the previous three years,” said Dr. Christopher Squier of the Department of Oral Pathology at the College of Dentistry, University of Iowa. “This represents 2,324 fewer Iowans dealing with this condition, a result that no one can ignore. In less than two years, we are already seeing the public health benefits of this landmark piece of legislation, and for that our legislators and the governor should be commended.”

Hospital admissions due to heart attacks and strokes were also down during this same period. Admissions for conditions that are not affected by tobacco did not see a similar decrease. ...

Smoking ban battle hits courtroom
District judge vows to make decision 'quickly.'
Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye, 2009-11-18
CHRISTINIA CRIPPES

Whether the state took an improper route to nab the admitted smoking ban violator is just one of several arguments Des Moines County District Court Judge Mary Ann Brown will consider before ruling whether the smoking ban violates the U.S. and Iowa constitutions.

Though the hearing lasted just two hours Tuesday morning, with the arguments largely made up of the written briefs the attorneys previously submitted to the judge, the owner of Otis Campbell's Bar and Grill said he'd take what he could get.

"I'm grateful that it got this far now," Duncan said after the trial. "I believe in the system."

Brown asked few questions during the hearing but thanked the attorneys at the end of their arguments. She did not offer a time frame for making a decision but said it will be "as quickly as we can." ...

Duncan ready for long-awaited day in court
Burlington Hawk Eye - Christinia Crippes - November 15, 2009

West Burlington bar owner Larry Duncan has been trying since mid-2008 to fight Iowa's statewide smoking ban in court.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the owner of Otis Campbell's Bar and Grill finally will get his opportunity.

Since before the ban went into effect, Duncan has insisted the Iowa Smokefree Air Act is unconstitutional.

Opponents of the smoking ban cite Article 1, Section 6 of the Iowa Constitution, which states the "general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens."

In a series of legal arguments and briefs filed with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and the Des Moines County Court, Duncan's attorneys have expanded on the point. ...

Group wants city to revisit panhandling
Iowa City Press Citizen - November 12, 2009

Downtown business owners want to move panhandlers farther away from their storefronts and are calling for the city to make the pedestrian mall smoke-free during daytime and early evening hours. ...

State tells county to watch its butts
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier - November 12, 2009

WATERLOO - Black Hawk County has been warned by state health officials to enforce a smoking ban on courthouse grounds.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has received complaints about violations of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act near the courthouse entrance. In a letter to county officials, the agency warned the county could be subject to fines for future violations.

Building Maintenance Supervisor Louis Cutwright said it was unclear whether those apparently violating the law were employees, who could be subject to disciplinary action, or members of the public doing business at the courthouse.

The law, which took effect July 1, 2008, effectively prohibits smoking in the courthouse and on the public areas surrounding the building. Smokers at the courthouse are required to move to the sidewalks adjacent to the streets.

"They should not be lighting up their cigarettes ... until they get to the public area" by the street, Cutwright said. ...

State brief defends smoking ban
State makes its case against Duncan, supports revocation of license
Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye, 2009-09-05
CHRISTINIA CRIPPES

Echoing current arguments in politics, the state points to laws defining equal protection and rights versus privilege in stating its case in support of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act's constitutionality.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office filed its nearly 60-page response to West Burlington bar owner Larry Duncan's petition in support of judicial review with the Des Moines County District Court late Friday afternoon.
The state's argument tackles Duncan's attorneys' brief on two fronts:

Defending the constitutionality of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act in spite of the bar owner's claims to the contrary and supporting the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division's right to revoke the bar's liquor license.

Since the statewide smoking ban went into effect on July 1, 2008, Duncan flagrantly violated it at his business, Otis Campbell's, until his liquor license revocation -- which has since been conditionally stayed while the case is pending -- at which time he agreed to follow the law while he fought its constitutionality in court. ...

UI begins citing smokers on campus
Iowa City Press Citizen - September 3, 2009

Dozens of cigarette butts were mashed into the concrete, and the no-smoking signs were charred with the black residue of snuffed-out tobacco.

The evidence of smoking on the second level of parking ramp II at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was easy to spot on a recent afternoon. Finding the cigarette smokers themselves, though, who are used to dodging hospital security and campus police, proved to be more difficult. ...

Report says most businesses are complying with state smoking ban
Radio Iowa - Pat Curtis - Sep 1, 2009

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting that most of the state's 82,000 businesses subject to the Smokefree Air Act are complying with the law. Bonnie Mapes is director of the department's division of tobacco use prevention and control. "We have only about 1% of the employers in the state who have actually (received) notices of a complaint," Mapes said.

"So, the vast majority of the businesses are in compliance with the law." IDPH has released the first Iowa Smokefree Air Act Annual Report. It includes data from July 1, 2008 - when the ban on smoking in most public places took effect - through June 30, 2009. Public health officials received more than 3,300 complaints over the year, but only 2,100 were validated. Mapes says around 300 complaints were filed anonymously. ...

Smoking war continues
Daily Iowan (University of Iowa), 2009-08-21
SAMANTHA HONKEN

Smokers across campus are still adjusting to the smoke-free rules set in place last year, especially after UI police began issuing tickets for violating the policy last month.

Police gave their first tickets on July 14 to two people smoking outside Rienow Residence Hall.

Authorities have since issued 12 more tickets, said Charles Green, the assistant vice president for the UI police.

Police said all the violators have been on the West Campus, he said, mainly near the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

“We will always have problem areas,” Green said.

Hospital ramp 2 ­ directly connected to the hospital via a skywalk ­ has traditionally been a place where smokers go during breaks. ...

University of Iowa cracks down on smokers
Chicago Tribune - August 6, 2009

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Iowa is ticketing smokers who light up on campus.

University President Sally Mason told the Iowa Board of Regents on Wednesday in Cedar Falls that officials are cracking down on smokers following complaints about smoking near University Hospitals.

Mason says most of the violators are visitors. ...

Iowa GOP candidates give views on smoking ban, gambling
Quad-City (IA) Times, 2009-07-23

Five GOP candidates for governor weighed in on the state's smoking ban, casino gambling and medical marijuana during a forum Wednesday.
The candidates competing for the chance to take on Democratic Gov. Chet Culver complained about the smoking ban that went into effect last year and was signed into law by Culver.

Some of their harshest criticism was aimed at an exemption carved out by the Iowa Legislature that allows smoking on the gaming floors of casinos, while still banning smoking at bars, restaurants and other workplaces.

"This is a perfect example of why the legislative process is so broken and why the processes in Des Moines are so broken," Cedar Rapids businessman Christian Fong, one of the candidates seeking the GOP nomination, said during the forum at Drake University.

Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats said he doesn't smoke, but thinks private property owners should be able to decide whether smoking is allowed. . . .

Rep. Christopher Rants of Sioux City, who opposed the smoking ban, said if elected governor he'd choose to spend his "political capital" on issues besides repealing the ban. ...

Rhythm City's contingency plan for smoking ban approved
Quad-City (IA) Times, 2009-07-17

ALTOONA, Iowa - The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is allowing the Isle of Capri's Rhythm City Casino in Davenport to renegotiate payments to its nonprofit license holder if the state bans smoking in casinos.

Mary Ellen Chamberlin, president and CEO of Riverboat Development Authority, said if Iowa were to change its law that allows smoking on casino floors, the authority would stand to lose "a great deal" of money.
She cited figures showing revenues falling dramatically when smoking was banned at other casinos around the country. ...

Backer: Smoking ban has created big cultural shift
Mason City Globe Gazette - Rod Boshart - July 2, 2009

DES MOINES — Iowa’s anti-tobacco efforts have ushered in a major cultural change that has reduced the number of adult smokers and made workplaces healthier places, backers of Iowa’s indoor smoking ban said Wednesday.

“This is probably one of the biggest cultural shifts in a short amount of time that our state will ever see,” said Rep. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, who helped enact the smokefree air act which took effect July 1, 2008.

Advocates said the restriction covering virtually all public places — except casino gambling areas, the Iowa State Fairgrounds and the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown — and state and federal cigarette tax increases have helped reduce smoking among Iowa adults to 14 percent compared to 19 percent two years earlier.

State Attorney General Tom Miller said Iowa has jumped into the top five states nationally in terms of smoking compliance. He noted that in the 1960s about four out of every 10 Iowa adults smoked tobacco products.

“We’ve really turned a corner,” he told a Statehouse news conference. ...

Attorney General marks anniversary of state smoking ban
Radio Iowa - Pat Curtis - July 1, 2009

Iowa's ban on smoking in public places took effect one year ago today. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller marked the occasion at a statehouse news conference.

"What it's done is contribute to an incredible drop in smoking in our state," Miller said. "I don't think it's been highlighted enough, but smoking went from 19% of the adult population (in 2007) to 14% (in 2009)."

Miller, a longtime opponent of tobacco products, believes Iowa may be among the top five states for the percentage of residents that don't smoke. He says less than one-percent of Iowa's 82,000 businesses subject to the Smokefree Air Act have been found in violation of the law.

"There was a series of bars that were resistant, that didn't comply, but by taking the approach that they would lose their (liquor) license at least for a period of time, I think has worked," Miller said. ...

State officials call smoking ban a success
Quad City Times - July 1, 2009

DES MOINES - State public health officials are declaring Iowa's year-old anti-smoking law a success.

Tom Newton, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, said about 1 percent of the more than 82,000 businesses that are subject to the Smokefree Air Act received notices of potential violations since the law took effect on July 1, 2008. "I am happy to say that our enforcement efforts have been very effective during this first year of the Iowa Smokefree Air Act," Newton said.

Over the past year, notices of potential violation have been sent to 1,015 businesses with employees, according to the department. Notices are generated after the state receives a valid complaint from the public or inspector visit. ...

Iowa smoking ban’s effect on business at bars inconclusive
Quad-City (IA) Times, 2009-07-01

Statistics from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division show an unsettled picture of the bar business since the smoking ban started.

Gross spirits sales in Scott County through liquor stores and distributors is up by $2.26 million - or 16.8 percent - for the year ending May 31, compared with the same time period ending May 31, 2008, according to the Iowa ABD.

However, the number of liquor licenses issued to establishments in Scott County dropped from 327 in 2008 to 298 this year, continuing a slide from 2006 when 386 on-premise licenses were issued in the county. ...

Opposition To Iowa Smoking Ban Burning Out
AP, 2009-06-30
LUKE MEREDITH, Associated Press Writer

Her acceptance of the ban but uneasiness about government intrusion appears to be a common thread among some residents in a state that last year banned smoking in most workplaces, restaurants and bars.

A coalition of bar owners challenged the ban in court but later dropped their lawsuit. Others have called for lawmakers to revise the law, but Democratic leaders who hold majorities in the Legislature have been adamant that no changes will be made in the near future.

Iowa is among 22 states that prohibit smoking in bars and restaurants, though its law exempts casinos, fairgrounds and veterans organizations. Bans will take effect in four other states this year, and three states ban smoking in restaurants, but not bars.

Despite vocal complaints from some bar owners, compliance with the law has been high, said Lynn Walding, the administrator for the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division. ...

Challenge To Smoking Ban
WHO-TV 13 (Des Moines, IA), 2009-06-29

A year after it was set, bar owners are expected to go before the court Monday to fight the state's smoking ban -- claiming the ban violates their rights. The Iowa Bar Owners Coalition filed the suit last July 1st, the day the ban went into effect.

The suit names the director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the department itself and the state of Iowa.

Thanks to backers of the smoking ban
DesMoinesRegister.com - June 26, 2009

Iowa has paved the way for many other states to pass strong, smoke-free laws that protect workers and patrons from secondhand smoke exposure. ...

Part of state's largest apartment complex goes smoke free
Radio Iowa - Pat Curtis - June 24, 2009

Smoking is being banned in nearly a quarter of the units in what developers call the state's largest private apartment complex. Nine of the 40 buildings in the Sun Prairie apartment complex in West Des Moines have been declared smoke-free zones.

Kerry Wise of the American Lung Association says she knows of only one other private apartment complex in the state where smoking has been banned inside the apartments. It's a 30-unit complex in Cedar Falls.

"In Iowa we've had an increased number of calls to our office from tenants specifically asking, 'What are the options for me for smoke-free housing?' and we're starting the process of education with owners and managers," she says, "and they're starting to see the benefits, not only health wise but bottom-line wise." Iowa's Smoke-Free Air Act took effect July 1st of last year, banning smoking in public places. However, it did not ban smoking in private residences, like apartments. ...

Fight To Ban The Smoking Ban
KWQC TV 6 (Davenport, IA), 2009-05-13

The fight to stomp out the smoking ban has hit a road block. A coalition of bar owners that had banded together challenging the ban's constitutionality has dropped their lawsuit. Arguments were supposed to be heard June 30th in Des Monies, but the case has been dismissed.

It all boils downs to money. The coalition that was made up of members from COBRA, IBOC and Choose Freedom Iowa couldn't pay the high legal bills anymore to go up against the smoking ban. "As you know we were fighting for everyone in the state and there wasn't enough people supporting it. . . .

Having the lawsuit dismissed, doesn't mean the fight is over. West Burlington bar owner Larry Duncan isn't apart of the coalition, but plans are for his group "Freedom Fighters" and all those involved in the lawsuit to join forces. That means when Duncan goes to district court in Burlington, he'll represent all bar owners. "We're trying to include everybody going after the same purpose, not only all the civil rights, but also interstate commerce, tobacco is not illegal," according to Duncan. ...


Iowa Bar Owners Group Drops Suit over Smoking Ban
AP, 2009-05-12
Aaron Hepker

A coalition of Iowa bar owners has decided to drop its lawsuit over the state's smoking ban, but a spokesman says the fight is not over.

After the bar owners' decision, a Polk County judge last week dismissed the lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of the smoking ban. . . .
Brian Froehlich, of Wilton, is with the Iowa Bar Owners Coalition. He says the groups are redirecting their efforts and will support the bars that are going to court to protect their businesses. ...


Polk County judge dismisses smoking ban lawsuit
Radio Iowa, 2009-05-12
Pat Curtis

A Polk County judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Iowa Bar Owners Coalition that questioned the constitutionality of the state's ban on smoking in most public places. The Iowa Attorney General's office was preparing to defend the state at trial, which was scheduled to start June 30th.

A.G.'s office spokesperson Bob Brammer says they felt the case might be thrown out after a judge denied a preliminary injunction last summer to block the law from taking effect until the lawsuit was settled. "We were hopeful that the court would dismiss this and there were signs last month that they would dismiss it," Brammer said.

"We understand the plaintiffs had informed the court that their lawyer had withdrawn and the court made it clear that the case might be dismissed." The fight over the Smokefree Air Act is far from over. ...

Former commander speaks out about ruling
KTVO - April 15, 2009

OTTUMWA, IOWA -- They may have fought for this country's freedom, but some Ottumwa vets may no longer be free to take a drink.

An administrative law judge has issued a recommendation to revoke the liquor license of VFW Post 775.

The ruling comes after the club repeatedly violated Iowa's Smoke Free Air Act.

Former Commander Denny Whitson was recently booted from his commanding position by state VFW officials for actions taken to ignore the law.

He is the club’s leader of the anti-smoking ban movement who allowed members to light up inside the club until about thirty days ago.

Since he was removed from office, he says the Ottumwa VFW has been in compliance with the law.

The new ruling, however, has the former commander up in arms.

"I think they're trying to make an example of us. I mean, let's face it. If you can take the veterans' organizations and revoke their liquor license, you have won the state. No one is going to rebuke their supremacy, welcome to communism 101," Whitson said. ...

More Iowa bars accused of violating smoking ban
Forbes - April 14, 2009

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says he's taking action against three more bars for violating the state's indoor smoking ban.

Miller announced Monday he has filed liquor license actions against Cocktails in Arnold Park, Doris' Tavern in Burlington and Trucker Bar in Waterloo. ...

Duncan's license revoked over smoking ban
Burlington Hawk Eye - April 9, 2009

West Burlington bar owner Larry Duncan's liquor license was revoked effective as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.

While that means no more beer, wine or alcohol will flow within the walls of Otis Campbell's, Duncan said the battle may be lost, but the war against the Smokefree Air Act is not over.

West Burlington Police Chief Alex Oblein said the revocation not only gives Duncan the right to challenge the administrator's final order, but Duncan also can file for a stay with the district court while awaiting a ruling.

"The goal and the intention is to gain compliance with the law, not to hand out penalties," said Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Administrator Lynn Walding, who issued his decision Wednesday.

Council stays out of smoking ban fight
Burlington Hawk Eye - April 1, 2009

By JEFF ABELL City officials will not intervene to stop bar owners from allowing patrons to violate the state's smoking ban. Rather, Burlington City Council ...

Complaints on smoking dip as public ban works
Des Moines (IA) Register, 2009-03-13
TONY LEYS

Complaints about illegal smoking have plummeted as Iowans have become accustomed to the state's public-smoking ban, health leaders say.

Iowans filed 403 complaints about public smoking in July, when the state first banned smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. By December, that had dropped to 141 for the month, said Bonnie Mapes, director of the Iowa Division of Tobacco Use Prevention and Control.
Some bar owners are leading a rebellion against the ban, and 30 of them are facing possible suspensions or revocations of their liquor licenses for alleged violations. About 100 critics showed up at the Statehouse on Tuesday, demanding revisions of the law.

But Mapes said most businesses follow the new rules.

Critics of Iowa smoking ban push to change law
MSNBC - March 11, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - Critics of Iowa's indoor smoking ban pressed lawmakers Tuesday to back a bill easing the restriction because they claim it violates the state constitution.

Larry Duncan, who owns a West Burlington tavern and has been a leading critic of the smoking ban, disputed suggestions that the law is popular. He argued that only a handful of politically powerful people are preventing its repeal.

"It seems to me that the powers that be in this state, the governor and a couple of ranking officials, don't want it to get to the floor," said Duncan, who joined a delegation of opponents to protest the ban at the Statehouse.

Smoking ban opponents rally at Clinton fundraiser
Quad-City (IA) Times, 2009-03-02
Erin Tiesman

Rock music filled the air Sunday at the Wild Rose Casino Oakwood Ballroom as opponents of Iowa's smoking ban gathered to raise money to fight the law enacted last year.

The Iowa Bar Owners' Coalition, a newly created organization, and the Clinton Organized Bar and Restaurant Association joined forces by forming Choose Freedom Iowa to help spread awareness of their cause and open dialogue with state lawmakers who enacted the ban.

Clive approves retooled ban on tobacco in parks
DesMoinesRegister.com, IA - February 24, 2009

An on-again, off-again ban on tobacco in Clive parks is back on the books after a Clive City Council meeting on Thursday.

The council voted 3-1 to enact a retooled policy that prohibits smoking within 50 feet of playgrounds and park shelters. Councilman John Edwards voted against the ban; Councilman Paul Leighton was absent.

A previous version of the policy banned all tobacco products on all park land in Clive. The council OK'd that version on Jan. 29, and repealed it on Feb. 5, citing concerns that the policy did not specifically define which city properties would be considered parkland or city land for the purposes of the ban.

Sands' bill calls for Smokefree Air Act repeal
Burlington Hawk Eye, United States - February 20, 2009

Rep. Tom Sands, R-Columbus Junction, followed up on his promise to constituents by filing a bill to repeal the 2008 Smokefree Air Act.

"This just takes us back to right where we were last year before ... the smoking ban became law," Sands said of the bill he filed Wednesday.

Since the law was signed and went into effect, Sands has said the ban is simply unenforceable the way the act is written.

Under Sands' bill, the ban would be completely repealed, but that does not mean smoking would be allowed everywhere.

Latest attempt to change smoking bill is supported by most Iowa ...
DesMoinesRegister.com, IA - February 10, 2009

Another attempt to alter Iowa’s smoking ban is underway but this time the majority of state representatives are sponsoring the bill, which some say makes it more likely that it will pass this year.

Smoking would be allowed in outdoor seating and serving areas of bars and restaurants under House File 211. Currently, those areas are almost entirely restricted, largely based upon rules set last year by the Iowa Department of Health.

Rep. McKinley Bailey, D-Webster City, said many lawmakers did not intend for the areas to have smoking prohibitions and that the health department overstepped its authority.

Bailey is leading an effort to revise the smoking ban. Twenty-three Democrats and 28 Republicans have signed onto the bill. The supporters include Speaker Pro Tem Polly Bukta, D-Clinton, and Assistant Minority Leader Jeff Kaufmann, R-Wilton.

Clive votes to make all city parks tobacco-free
DesMoinesRegister.com, IA - February 3, 2009

Clive will go a step farther than a controversial state smoking ban, banning all tobacco products within all city parks. The Clive City Council voted 3-2 on Thursday to enact a policy drafted and recommended by the city's parks and recreation board. Council members Ronni Begleiter and Steven Brody voted against the policy.

Group argues state smoking ban is unconstitutional
Mason City Globe Gazette, IA - January 22, 2009

The ban on smoking in public buildings is the law — but is it constitutional?

A group of Iowans devoted to overturning the law argue that is isn’t. Freedom Fighters for All Citizens held a meeting at Maynes Grove, south of Hampton, Wednesday night to argue the point.

“This isn’t about smoking, it’s about our constitution,” said speaker Larry Duncan of West Burlington, who owns two restaurants.

“Anyone with a fourth-grade education knows that the Smokefree Air Act doesn’t fit under our constitutional oath,” said Duncan to an audience of about 20 people.

Duncan said it violates the constitution because it grants certain citizens privileges not available to others. For example the law still allows smoking in casinos and some other places.

“The constitution states that ‘all laws of a General Assembly shall not grant any citizen or class of citizens privileges or immunities which upon the same terms shall not equally apply to all citizens,’ ” Duncan said.

He said legislators knew the law was unconstitutional before passing it.

Since the law went into effect July 1, 2008, Duncan and others have been fighting it. He has been allowing smoking in his restaurant, Otis Campbell’s Bar and Grill, and said he has yet to be cited.

The group has filed suit asking for a permanent injunction against the law. A hearing on that motion has been pushed back to June 29.

Proposed law would ban smoking at casinos
SW Iowa News, IA - January 9, 2009

The first session of the Iowa General Assembly won't begin until Jan. 12, but individual legislators or state agencies have already approved 49 bills for filing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Department of Corrections, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Workforce Development, along with the Attorney General, Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board and state senators and representatives are energized about changes to the state laws.

...They should not have to be trapped in a smoke filled room in order to have a job." A bill that allows Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) money to be

Update: Culver signs smoking ban into law
Des Moines (IA) Register, 2008-04-15
JENNIFER JACOBS * REGISTER STAFF WRITER

No one can light up a cigarette or cigar inside an Iowa bar or restaurant starting July 1.

"This has been a long time coming!" said Dan Ramsey of the American Lung Association just before Gov. Chet Culver signed the bill into law this morning.

The legislation bans smoking in most places of employment and spots frequented by the public. Smoking will still be permitted in outdoor areas of bars, outdoor areas of county fairs and the Iowa State Fair, retail tobacco stores, private clubs that have no employees and the gambling floors of casinos.

Democratic lawmakers and leaders congratulated each other and key activists for their steadfastness in fighting for this ban and for turning the tide of public support.

"It was a tough, tough issue. Very difficult," Culver said.

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