The administrator of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says a third compliance check in Des Moines County found a drop in the number of bars and restaurants that were complying with the state smoking ban.
Administrator Lynn Walding says the county is the focus of a pilot program where the establishments are periodically checked by state agents for smoking ban violations.
Walding says there were only a couple of cases where they found people smoking in the establishments, as most of the problems centered around the bars and restaurants not displaying the proper signs required to tell people about the smoking ban. Walding says the signs are a key part of the law.
He says the signage is important because it tells customers they are in an area where smoking is not allowed, and the signs also include a number for the Iowa Department of Public Health where people can call and report a violation of the law. Walding says they are happy with the results of the pilot project, and the way it has helped Des Moines County do a better job of complying with the law.
Walding says Des Moines County was probably the county that had the strongest resistance to the Smokefree Air Act, and that’s why it was selected for the pilot project. He says if they find other areas where there are “pockets of resistance” to the law, they may extend the pilot project to other counties.
You can see the results of the compliance checks in the link below. Ongoing legal actions involving the smoking ban are posted on the Iowa Department of Alcoholic Beverages website.