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IA Lawmakers Look to Give Towns Right to “Snuff Out” Smoking

September 13, 2007

Iowa towns may soon have the authority to enact their own smoke-free ordinances if a measure giving communities that right passes both the Senate and House during the upcoming session. Stacy Frelund with the Iowa chapter of the American Cancer Society says local communities are already passing resolutions urging lawmakers to give them the option.

"A number of communities have already passed declarations urging lawmakers to allow them the option to enact the smoke-free ordinances. Waukee, Story City and Ames have all passed versions of the local control resolution."

Frelund explains that Iowa is one of a few states that still controls what types of laws local communities may pass. She points out that right now, none of the smoking bans for businesses are mandatory.

"Currently it is voluntary and there are a number of establishments that have opted to be smoke-free and some have in fact seen an increase in revenue."

Frelund believes if communities have a say in making specific areas smoke-free it would reduce cancers from second-hand smoke, promote clean indoor air and discourage smoking in the first place.

Dick Layman/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IA