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Local Control Tops on Lawmakers “To-Do” List

January 7, 2008

Des Moines, IA – When the Iowa General Assembly convenes this month, lawmakers will be asked once again to join other states in giving local communities control over smoking bans. Currently, the state has sole control. Stacey Freelund with the Iowa Chapter of the American Cancer Society says bans on secondhand smoke could protect thousands of Iowans from disease.

"There is no safe level of secondhand smoke, so we want to protect people from lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory illness."

Freelund says more than a dozen cities already have approved resolutions urging lawmakers to let local communities choose whether to ban smoking, and to decide for themselves where smoking will be prohibited.

"Many communities really want to see local control happen this year and we have many more communities working on passing these resolutions. There is massive support out there for local control happening this year."

Freelund adds with recent declines in cancer deaths and new cancer cases in Iowa, the state is in sight of what she terms "winning the war on cancer." She believes now is not the time to back away from those gains.

Dick Layman/John Robinson, Public News Service - IA