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Daily Newscasts

One Year Anniversary of the Smoking Ban

July 1, 2009

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowans have had 365 days of smoke-free air to breathe, thanks to the "Smoke Free Air Act" that went into effect one year ago today. Peggy Hubbert, with the American Cancer Society's Iowa chapter, says getting the ban passed was a real challenge but, in her view, well worth the effort.

"The vast majority of workplaces, which is what this is aimed at, are compliant. So, that is protecting the health of millions of Iowans."

Hubbert says some of the public health implications are already showing themselves, including more people making the decision to give up the smoking habit.

"It's going to take a while, but this will lead to a further reduction in smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke that will impact those death rates."

Critics of the ban have said it unfairly targets small businesses, but Hubbert says a majority of businesses report that it has actually increased business, particularly from families looking for a smoke-free environment.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA