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News Summary

Culver: 'This bill will save lives'

Publication Date: 2008-04-16
  • Publication:The Des Moines Register

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

Even as Gov. Chet Culver was signing the statewide smoking ban into law on Tuesday, Iowans were peppering public officials with questions about whether it will be in force in public parks, private boats on public lakes, university campuses and other public areas.

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

"It was a tough, tough issue. Very difficult," Culver told a crowd of about 200 people in the rotunda of the Iowa Capitol.

Culver said smoke-free workplaces are essential to prevent young people from taking up smoking.

He said the new law builds upon last year's $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase. Since last March, calls to Quitline Iowa have increased 500 percent, Culver said. The hot line has logged 12,400 calls since the beginning of the year alone, he said.

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