Anti-smoking activists are at the statehouse today (Wednesday), lobbying for a bill that faces certain death this week. The bill would let cities enact anti-smoking ordinances that’re tougher than state law. Beth Ritter Ruback of Iowa City, spokeswoman for a group dedicated to getting that bill passed, says a recent poll found many Iowans support their stand. Sixty-three percent of Iowa voters questioned favored letting local communities enact ordinances that restrict smoking in public places, even if those local rules would be stricter than state law. “It is clear that Iowa voters want local, smoke-free ordinances,” she says. Cathy Callaway of the American Cancer Society of Iowa admits the “writing’s been on the wall” and the bill they seek will die this week, but she is optimistic the issue will be addressed in future years. “Everyone has the right to breathe smoke-free air, and we are here to ensure every community has the right to protect its citizens from second-hand smoke,” she asys. Ames and Iowa City enacted local anti-smoking ordinances, but a Supreme Court ruling struck those down.
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