Boone could become the first city in Iowa to go smoke-free. Smoking would be banned in restaurants and other public places under an ordinance Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Melissa Andrews brought to the city council last week.Most restaurant owners don’t like it, she says. They fear they’ll lose business but Andrews says a thousand American cities have smoking bans and it hasn’t cost businesses money. Her position at “Boone Project Safe” is funded by part of the tobacco settlement. Andrews says some people have been complaining about limits on their preference to smoke, but others like the proposed ban.She says more education will be needed, but a fifth-grade class wrote letters supporting it, saying they don’t want to eat where people smoke. Andrews says the goal is not limiting personal freedom, but protecting nonsmokers.She explains kids, the elderly, and people with diseases made worse by smoking, and restaurant workers will benefit. The ordinance faces several public hearings before it could become law in Boone. Ames has smoking restrictions that end at 8:30 PM, and Andersen says Iowa City’s been trying for a year to pass a smoke-free ordinance.
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