Efforts to stamp out smoking in Iowa are being touted today on "World No Tobacco Day". The annual event is organized by the World Health Organization, and the focus this year is on smoke-free environments. Here in Iowa, local governments do not have the authority to ban smoking in businesses, but state senator Daryl Beall is pushing a bill to make that possible.
"I believe having smoke-free environments is essential in protecting non-smokers from second hand smoke and for encouraging smokers to quit," says Beall. The Democrat from Fort Dodge says approving local control seems more reasonable than a statewide ban on smoking.
Beall calls it a "compromise between an outright, statewide ban and leaving the matter up to the decision of individual businesses." A bill that would allow local governments to ban smoking in places like bars and restaurants was passed by the Iowa Senate this year, but it was not brought up for debate in the House.