The Iowa Board of Health meets this morning to approve the rules for businesses and others who must abide by the statewide ban on smoking in public places that goes into effect July 1st. School officials are joining the chorus complaining about confusion in the rules.
Mary Gannon, the attorney for the Iowa Association of School Boards, says it’s not clear whether smoking will be allowed on sidewalks surrounding school buildings. "In some communities, the cities are fine with letting the schools enforce smoke-free/tobacco-free on those sidewalks. In other communities, they’re not," Gannon says, "and so, we’ve got an inconsistency out there."
Gannon hopes the Board of Health resolves this issue today. "Because in all honesty, we’re not going to be the only ones with this question. You’ve got restaurants that have sidewalks surrounding them. You’ve got small businesses with sidewalks surrounding them," Gannon says. "You’ve got all of these issues."
The proposed rules have been criticized by some bar owners who say they had hoped to allow smoking on outdoor patios, but the rules are written too narrowly to allow it. The Board of Health meeting is set to begin at 10 a.m.