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Iowa's smoke-free air law marks five-year anniversary

Publication Date: 2013-07-01
  • Author:Rod Boshart
  • Publication:The Gazette

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.

Ash trays in public places have become a scarce commodity since the Iowa Legislature passed and then-Gov. Chet Culver signed a ban on smoking in most workplaces and public areas five years ago. The statewide smoke-free Clean Indoor Air Act took effect on July 1, 2008.

"It took eight years to get that bill passed," said Petersen, who was a state representative then. "Probably out of all the legislation I've worked on, that's one that I'm most proud of because I think it's changed people's everyday lives."...

Jim Mondanaro, owner of Fresh Food Concepts and several restaurants and bars in the Iowa City area, and said he has seen no negative economic impact as a result of the statewide smoke-free law.

"The smoke-free air law has been nothing but positive for my businesses," noted Mondanaro. "It is better for everyone involved in the food and beverage industry-it protects the health of my workers and guests, and even prevents wear and tear on my buildings previously caused by cigarette smoke. Overall, this law has been a great success."

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