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Bar Owners Oppose Exemptions To Iowa's Smoking Ban

Publication Date: 2008-05-14
  • Publication:KTIV, IA

Small business owners in Iowa are banding together to fight Iowa's statewide smoking ban. For the second time in three weeks, dozens of bar owners met at "Rhonda's Speakeasy." They don't want to overturn the ban. Rather, they want to fight the "exemptions" in the ban.

Examples of those exemptions are county fairs, the Iowa state fair, and casinos. Randy Stanford, a volunteer for the group, says they're not fighting the smoking issue... they're fighting for the rights of businesses. "We have no intentions of trying to overthrow the ban," said Randy Stanford, Iowans For Equal Rights. "We just want a level playing field. If they would've taken the ban and made it a non-smoking, a fair ban, then nobody would've had a problem with this."

The owner of Walker's Restaurant and Bar, in Salix, believes 85-percent of his customers are smokers. He's says they're upset... and so is he. He plans to join a lawsuit against the state because he thinks bars should be treated differently under a law.... he believes is already unbalanced. "Bars are based on 21 years in age and up," said Randy Samson, Walkers Restaurant and Bar. "Family restaurants are based on, with children. So, that's why we assumed that the bars would be left alone. Because at 21 you make your choice, either you wanna come in or you don't want to come in."

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