Thursday, February 28

Senate Bill Public Smoking Ban Bill More Comprehensive

The Iowa Senate, by a vote of 29-21, narrowly passed a bill which would include the banning of smoking in casinos and Veteran Social Halls in addition to other public places. The bill will be returned to the House where either the Senate version will be accepted or a joint conference committee will hammer out an agreement. The bill would then have to be signed into law by Gov. Chet Culver.

Both Sens. Joe Bolkcom and Bob Dvorsky both strongly support comprehensive antismoking legislation.

"Tobacco-related illnesses are the leading cause of death and misery in Iowa," Bolkcom said. "As public-health measures go, after raising the tobacco tax, this is the next big thing we can do."

Currently, both the House and Senate's bans both exempt retail tobacco stores. The bills define such businesses as retail stores utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products are incidental to the sale of tobacco products.

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