A Cedar Rapids pub owner has become the first in the eastern Iowa city to ban smoking in his bar. Grafton Street Pub became completely smoke-free May 21st. Owner Matt Blake says the decision is in response to growing public sentiment and concerns expressed by his regular patrons.
"We’ve had a really good response to it so far. I believe that the next few months will demonstrate that it’s a trend going forward that more people would like to see," Blake says. "Most importantly, I’d like to create a smoke-free environment for my employees." Three of Blake’s four grandparents died of smoking-related diseases.
Blake himself quit smoking five years ago. Blake hopes his decision sets a trend with other bars in Cedar Rapids. "A lot of younger people are leaning towards…a smoke-free environment," Blake says. "I think that it’s going to be a business decision that will help us out, actually. I don’t think it will hurt us." According to the group " Smoke Free World " there are dozens of bars and restaurants in the state which have "smoke-free" policies.