Smoking ban fight to go national
CLINTON — Those fighting to overturn the smoking ban in Iowa are looking to band together with groups from other states and take the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Legislature passed the smoking ban last session, which prohibits smoking in most public places. The ban affects restaurants and bars but provides exemptions for gambling areas of casinos and the Iowa Veterans Home at Marshalltown.
In April, the Clinton Organized Bar and Restaurant Association announced plans to join forces with other bar and restaurant associations and establishments across the state of Iowa to file an injunction against the smoking ban. But, after learning that the act includes a clause preventing any injunction from stopping the law from going into effect, the group began investigating other avenues to pursue.
During a recent meeting of the Clinton Organized Bar and Restaurant Association, COBRA President Jon Van Roekel noted that he and COBRA member Gary Sawyer met with “key players” on June 11 in Grinnell. Van Roekel said several states are actively fighting the ban, but said some are “coming to a wall.” He said COBRA officials have decided to forgo attempting to gain a level playing field at the state level and intend to create a unified front against smoking bans by taking the fight nationwide and declaring the matter a personal property rights issue.