Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of the implementation of the Smoke-free Air Act that former Governor Chet Culver signed into law. The law banned smoking in bars, restaurants and outdoor entertainment venues.
Adam Angstad has worked as a server at the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City for 12 years and he told KCRG TV before 2008, someone could have a cup of coffee and a stogie in the smoking section.
“It’s not like the smoke would stop at the smoking section, it would drift through the whole place so that was always kind of a silly thing to do,” said Adam Angstad. Angstad says he still heads home in need of a shower after work, but with the implementation of the Clean Air Act he had one less smell to worry about.
“You just smell like French fries and sausages when you get done. You don’t have to like wash off smoke,” Angstad says.
David Danskin first started biting into the Hamburg burgers in the sixties. Although, he put the cigarettes down more than 15 years ago, Danskin told KCRG TV he’s happy the smoke has cleared.
“Even when I smoked I didn’t much like being around it,” said Danskin. It’s just an irritant. Smells bad.” According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s also hazardous to your health. They estimate it contributes to 41-thousand deaths among nonsmoking adults, each year.
Those who do light up, like Griffin Ford, understand why the law is in place. “If I were a non-smoker I wouldn’t want a bunch of people smoking around me,” he explains. Although, that understanding comes with its drawbacks.
“In the winter I would just like to stay inside just to smoke a cigarette but for the most part it doesn’t bother me,” Ford says. There is one exception to the Clean Air Act — you can legally smoke on the gambling floor of the state’s casinos. Efforts in the last ten years to change that exception to the law have failed.