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 In 2003, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that the state law superseded any local law or regulation that was inconsistent with or conflicted with the provisions of Iowa Code 142B.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.
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
smoking in apartment complexes (Editor's Inbox)
County Board of Supervisors presents ordinance to limit e ...
vaping lounge smoking up in Iowa City
Retailers Encourage Age-Restricted Sales for E-Cigarettes
View: Do the right thing: Restrict sales of e-cigarettes
for tobacco-free parks
County supervisors discuss use of e-cigarettes
announces campaign for Board of Supervisors
City cleanup raises anti-tobacco awareness
Lawmakers Look To Regulate E-cigarettes
not allowed at MHS
Looks To Regulate E-Cigarettes
moves to ban e-cigs in buildings
marketplace control gaming
Bill Passes in Iowa House
RESTRICTION: Bill Limits E-Cigarette Sales
Big Tobacco dupes Iowa House
Heaton speaks on recent bill banning the sale of e-cigarettes to ...
Legislature Tackling E-Cigarette Debate
who should kids believe, the Legislature or a 'Dog with a Blog?'
approves ban on sale of e-cigarettes to minors
urges US pharmacy chains to follow CVS lead on tobacco sales
editorials published in Iowa newspapers
can cloud teen's judgments
offers alternative to cigarettes
Congregational United Church of Christ receives Blue Zones certification
to ban e-cigarette sales to minors advances in Iowa Legislature
health groups: Don't ban sale of e-cigarettes to minors
legislative panels OK measures banning sale of e-cigarettes to ...
should increase cigarette tax, spend more on anti-smoking ...
unsure on e-cigarette taxation, but would not allow them in ...
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad offered no opinion on whether electronic cigarettes now rising in popularity should be taxed the same as traditional smokeable ...
e-cigarette retailer enforces law state does not
Statehouse drive to protect us from the vapors
revises smoke-free policy
Iowa tobacco tax revenue declines
Not in Iowa - AG urges banning sales to minors
AG wants restrictions on sale of e-cigarettes
Special Report: E-Cigarettes in Iowa
of electronic cigarettes stuck in a haze
No rush to regulate e-cigarettes
Mason talks government shutdown, UI apartments, and E ...
of I takes a look at e-cigarettes
of Iowa Considers Electronic Cigarette Ban
is close, non-smoking casino
ban for all is fairer, healthier
a non-smoking area in casino
duty to remedy casino exemption
says Iowa fails in several areas for fighting cancer
mulls tobacco-free parks
Board approves Parker's Woods playground contract
smoke-free law to casino workers
tells council he's 'planning big' for Davenport
others are saying: Make casinos smoke-free
opinion: Make casinos smoke-free just like the rest of Iowa
NOW SMOKE-FREE FOR FIVE YEARS
not so bad after all
Five years smoke-free
there such a thing as a safe cigarette?
Council Votes For Smoking Ban
Ban one step closer in Clinton Parks
considers expanding smoking restrictions
Friday is World No Tobacco Day
Rapids turns attention to restrictions on alcohol, tobacco shops
To Talk HUD Smoking Ban
launches website on smoke-free environments
out: Some residents unhappy about owners reversing smoking ban in apartments
Partners helps Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy go smoke-free
issues don't make cut in Legislature
casino companies make case for customers to light up
Casinos' refusal to go smoke-free puzzling
smoking on casino floors is a healthy idea
smoking in Iowa's casinos
the air on casino smoking
to ban smoking in Iowa casinos stalls
will consider bill banning casino smoking in Iowa
will create safe haven for smokers
Governor Wants No More Smoking In Casinos: However, No Developments
In Legislature That Could Institute The Change
Oak Council extends tobacco ban
would ban smoking at casinos "tomorrow"
Put an end to smoking in casinos ($$)
bans = fewer hospital visits
Clear the air on casinos' smoking policies ($$)
Smoking bans prevent illnesses
Years Later Bars and Restaurants See Positives to Smoking Ban
City sale comes up for vote tonight
Smoking In New Casino?
among UI students hits lowest rate
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 states smoking ban, which
marks its fourth anniversary this weekend.
smoking ban not as dire as predicted: Sales up at restaurants, taverns
opinion: Healthier Iowa calls for closing smoking loophole ($$)
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.
Senate approves Internet poker measure; House to consider ...
Amendments that would have diverted the new revenue to the states
roads and another that would have banned smoking on casino floors did
Iowa casinos participate in nonsmoking event?
casinos won't ban smoking during Smokeout
opponents worry anti-smoking efforts will be curtailed
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. ...
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. ...
Two state senators are accusing Iowas public-health director
of breaking the law when she dismissed the states top anti-smoking
official last month and handed her duties to another administrator.
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. ...
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. ...
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. ...
House rejects adding casinos to smoking ban
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 ...
groups pushing to expand smoking ban
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
Tobacco Prevention Alliance: 79% of Iowa voters agree : Smokefree Air
Act has made Iowa Better
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. ...
largest apartment complex going smoke-free after fire blamed on cigarette
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 were 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." ...
OUT: Two years after the smoking ban Iowans are healthier
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 ...
receives fewer smoking complaints
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 ...
of smoking exemption could be next issue for casinos
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 dont want to see a smoking ban for casinos passed.
Ehrecke says they hope it doesnt 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 ...
Iowa smoking ban obsolete? Questions on Reynolds, rugby, I-Jobs
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 wouldnt go back, and those that do would feed a niche market of sorts?
Bar workers and waitresses who dont 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 ...
Council changes smoking ban
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 Tuesdays 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
bypass smoking ban
"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.
would ban smoking in casinos if elected
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." ...
of tobacco retailers drops by a third
Theres 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 Healths 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. ...
ban won't harm casino business
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. ...
City Council to Discuss Downtown Anti-Panhandling Measures
...The council also will consider banning smoking in the Pedestrian Mall...
drops fight against smoking ban
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. ...
ban on smoking in public places upheld
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." ...
ban may extend
A proposed revision to Iowa Citys no-smoking policy may include a 24-hour smoking ban for the Pedestrian Mall, Iowa City city councilors said at a Monday work session. ...
Department of Public Health: Cigarette sales drop 52 percent, but teens
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. Thats according to a report released today by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Conducted by the University of Northern Iowas 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. ...
range of Iowans approve of smoking ban
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. ...
Cancer Society: Heart disease admissions down 24 percent since ...
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. ...
ban battle hits courtroom
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." ...
ready for long-awaited day in court
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. ...
wants city to revisit panhandling
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. ...
tells county to watch its butts
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. ...
brief defends smoking ban
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.
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. ...
begins citing smokers on campus
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. ...
says most businesses are complying with state smoking ban
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. ...
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. ...
of Iowa cracks down on smokers
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. ...
GOP candidates give views on smoking ban, gambling
Five GOP candidates for governor weighed in on the state's smoking
ban, casino gambling and medical marijuana during a forum Wednesday.
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. ...
City's contingency plan for smoking ban approved
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.
Smoking ban has created big cultural shift
DES MOINES Iowas 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 Iowas 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.
Weve really turned a corner, he told a Statehouse
news conference. ...
General marks anniversary of state smoking ban
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.
officials call smoking ban a success
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. ...
smoking bans effect on business at bars inconclusive
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. ...
To Iowa Smoking Ban Burning Out
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. ...
To Smoking Ban
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.
to backers of the smoking ban
Iowa has paved the way for many other states to pass strong, smoke-free laws that protect workers and patrons from secondhand smoke exposure. ...
of state's largest apartment complex goes smoke free
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. ...
To Ban The Smoking Ban
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. ...
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.
. . .
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
commander speaks out about ruling
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 clubs 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. ...
Iowa bars accused of violating smoking ban
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. ...
license revoked over smoking ban
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.
stays out of smoking ban fight
on smoking dip as public ban works
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.
But Mapes said most businesses follow the new rules.
of Iowa smoking ban push to change law
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.
ban opponents rally at Clinton fundraiser
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.
approves retooled ban on tobacco in parks
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.
bill calls for Smokefree Air Act repeal
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.
attempt to change smoking bill is supported by most Iowa ...
Another attempt to alter Iowas 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.
votes to make all city parks tobacco-free
argues state smoking ban is unconstitutional
A group of Iowans devoted to overturning the law argue that is isnt. Freedom Fighters for All Citizens held a meeting at Maynes Grove, south of Hampton, Wednesday night to argue the point.
This isnt about smoking, its 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 doesnt 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 Campbells 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.
law would ban smoking at casinos
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
Culver signs smoking ban into law
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.