Iowa Becomes 14th State to Pass Statewide Smoking Ban

"My goal is to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation, which is why I am proud to sign the Smoke Free Air Act," said Iowa Governor Chet Culver on April 15 as he signed House File 2212 into law, making Iowa the 14th state in the nation to pass a statewide ban on smoking in most public places, including bars, restaurants, and workplaces, effective July 1. "This is a bill which reflects commitment and compromise, passion and practicality. Today, we are locking arms, putting partisan politics aside, and joining together with one common purpose: to build a healthier Iowa."

House File 2212 builds upon action the governor took last year to reduce cigarette use across the state. In March 2007, Culver signed legislation that increased the tobacco tax $1 per pack. Since that time, calls to Quitline Iowa have increased 500 percent, with more than 12,000 calls just since January 1st, he said.

"Last year, the Commission on Wellness and Healthy Living created a series of proposals called Five Steps Toward A Healthier Iowa, which were designed to make Iowa a model for better living," said Lt. Governor Patty Judge, at the signing. "Today, I'm proud to say we have taken the first step."

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