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News Summary

Strict smoking ban heads to Culver

Publication Date: 4/9/2008
  • Author:JENNIFER JACOBS AND JASON CLAYWORTH
  • Publication:Des Moines (IA) Register

Restaurants, bars and most other public places in Iowa must be smoke-free starting July 1 under a bill Iowa's governor is expected to sign.

On Tuesday, both chambers of the Legislature passed a bill that would ban smoking in the vast majority of workplaces and spots frequented by the public in Iowa.

The bill now goes to Gov. Chet Culver.

"Governor Culver congratulates the House and Senate for working together on this important initiative, which will make Iowa a healthier state, and he looks forward to signing the bill," Culver spokesman Brad Anderson said.

Iowans would still be able to smoke in the gambling areas of casinos, although smoking would be prohibited in casino restaurants, gift shops, bars and employee areas.

State lawmakers spoke with emotion about personal freedom and choice, and about loved ones who had died of cancer.

In the end, the House voted 54-45 and the Senate voted 28-22 to shield about 95 percent of workers from the carcinogens in workplace smoke.