WIUM Local
9:39 am
Sun August 23, 2009

Lee County Businesses Complying With Smoking Ban

Lee County, IA – Businesses in Lee County are making progress when it comes to complying with Iowa's ban on public smoking. Iowa's Smokefree Air Act went into effect on July 1, 2008.

The law prohibits smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars, day-care centers, and office buildings. The law does not cover private residences, tobacco shops, and casino gaming floors.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says about 1,000 businesses received a notice of potential violation of the law during the first year of the Smoke-free Air Act.

Emily Carrick is the prevention and wellness coordinator for the Lee County Health Department. She says about 25 of the notices were sent to Lee County.

Carrick says most business owners have been willing to work with her to resolve the issues that led to the notices of potential violation. "A majority of them at least talked to me on the phone," says Carrick, "We went over it and they understood it. A little less than that allowed me to come and do a site visit."

Businesses receive a notice of potential violation based on a complaint from a regular citizen or by a health department investigator. Carrick says the infractions in Lee County have included a lack of no-smoking signs, the presence of ash trays, or actual smoking.

Just nine businesses in Lee County have received a second notice. Carrick says, since July 1, her office has not received a notice for any business.

Numbers
July 1, 2008 through August 9, 2009

Total Statewide Numbers (from Iowa Department of Public Health)
Complaints received - 2,195
First Notice of Potential Violation - 1,078
Second Notice of Potential Violation - 220
Subsequent Notice of Potential Violation - 141

Lee County Numbers
Complaints received - 92
First Notice of Potential Violation - 28
Second Notice of Potential Violation - 9
Subsequent Notice of Potential Violation - 6

Des Moines County Numbers
Complaints received - 244
First Notice of Potential Violation - 38
Second Notice of Potential Violation - 12
Subsequent Notice of Potential Violation - 28

Van Buren County Numbers
Complaints received - 4
First Notice of Potential Violation - 3
Second Notice of Potential Violation - 0
Subsequent Notice of Potential Violation - 0