Ames moved closer to banning smoking in restaurants and bars last night. Resident Fred Miller was asked to present a seven-part compromise solution to the city council. Miller said everyone is working together to try and find a way to accomplish the goal.Miller says there are many concerns from the tobacco task force, restaurant and tavern owners, and people in the community. He says the concerns help produce the compromise and every party has given up something.The compromise includes certain hours when smoking -would be allowed in bars and restaurants, having a smoke-free zone at the entrance or exit, and keeping minors out of smoking areas. Ames Councilmember Herman Quirmbach says it’s an important public health issue. He says 53-thousand deaths a year are linked to second hand smoke, more people than those who die in all the traffic accidents in the U-S each year.Ames would be the first city in the state to ban smoking in restaurants, though “Clean Indoor Air” campaigns are also underway in Coralville, Correctionville, Iowa City and Maquoketa. Ames City Councilmember Steve Goodhue said reaching this compromise has been difficult, but he thinks this is a win-win situation.The council voted to send the compromise solution to the city attorney. It would replace an earlier proposal to ban smoking in all public places. The new plan should be back before the council by the end of January 2001.
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