The midwest, America’s heartland, has not been receptive to smoking bans. That, sadly, is changing. The pathetic effort to combat smoking bans, unfortunately, remain the same. After years of hectoring by anti-tobacco special interests Iowa has banned smoking. The law is straight from anti-tobacco’s latest template, prohibiting smoking in restaurants, workplaces and bars. The article to which we link fatuously reports that there are exceptions such as a state veterans home, tobacco stores and designated areas in prisons. Smokers may light up in bar patio areas and of course in the gambling areas of casinos.

Recently restaurant and bar owners came together to talk about their options with a representative from the Iowa Restaurant Association. There is a distinct lack of options according to this news story. As usual the business people note that around 80 percent of restaurants and bars voluntarily ban smoking so "that proves the free market has traditionally worked." Comments such as people are tired of the government telling them how to run their businesses abound. The bottom line, however, comes from the governor who signed the smoking ban law: the smoking ban will save lives plain and simple.

So there you have it. All the bellyaching, financial downside and loss of personal freedom will not change the fact that health trumps all. It matters not one whit to the governor if restaurants and bars go out of business. The smoke prohibitionists consider any bankrupt bar as icing on the cake. The restaurant association, despite sending a representative to pacify the business owners, long ago made its peace with the prohibitionists. The big chains will grab more of the market share as independent diners bite the dust.

One of the bar owners says that they are trying to fight this smoking ban and just need some answers. There is only one answer and that is to take Iowa to court on the basis that the smoking ban is fraudulent. There is no proof that secondhand smoke is dangerous. All the evidence backs that up. Taking the prohibitionists and their stooges in the statehouse to court on the basis of fraud may not remove the smoking ban. Doing anything other than that, however, will result in the smoking ban staying and becoming even more draconian as time goes on.



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