Anti-tobacco advocates are -not- pleased by last night’s Ames City Council vote to partially ban smoking. The ordinance snuffs smoking in some restaurants and bars between six a-m and 8:30 p-m. That doesn’t go far enough, according to Threase Harms. She says they encouraged the city council to start with a restaurant only ban and go from there.Harms is the state advocacy director for the Iowa Chapter of the American Cancer Society and Tobacco Free Iowa. Ames is the first city in the state to enact such an anti-smoking ordinance. Harms fears other Iowa cities will see the Ames ordinance as a standard, which she says should -not- be done. She says they want communities to start with a smoke free restaurant policy.Harms says only 24-percent of Iowans smoke, but she says much is done to accommodate that minority. Harms says people who patronize Ames restaurants during non-smoking hours will still be subjecting themselves to carcinogens.She says the elements of smoke continue to linger in the air and expose people to the dangers. Several Iowa cities are working on no-smoking ordinances, including Iowa City, Coralville, Maquoketa, Correctionville and Decorah.
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