Poll: Most Iowans say Smokefree Air Act has made Iowa better - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Poll: Most Iowans say Smokefree Air Act has made Iowa better

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- A poll released on Wednesday says that 79 percent of Iowans feel the Smokefree Air Act has made the state a better place to live.

The poll, which was conducted by the Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance, found that 73 percent of Iowa voters do not want the law repealed, and 63-percent want it expanded to cover non-tribal casinos.

"It's very encouraging to see that a majority of Iowa voters support closing the casino loophole in the Smokefree Air Act," Cathy Callaway with Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance said in a written statement. "Casino workers are at a greater risk of lung and heart disease because of secondhand smoke exposure. No one should have to choose between their health and a good job."

The poll also found that 42 percent of respondents are going to restaurants, bars and bowling alleys more often, and of those, 79 percent are visiting places they used to avoid prior to the Smokefree Air Act.

The poll says only 4 percent would go to state-sponsored casinos less often if these casinos went smoke-free.

"When the law was passed, we heard all sorts of claims that places were going to go out of business. That just hasn't been the case, and it wouldn't be the case if Iowa joined our neighbors in Illinois and South Dakota and made the casinos entirely smoke-free as well," said Callaway. "The law was created to protect employees from secondhand smoke. Everyone, including those who work at casinos, has the right to breathe smoke free air."

The survey of 500 registered voters in Iowa was conducted by Selzer & Company on Feb. 7-9.  It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.

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