Senator seeks end of ‘No Smoking’ signage requirements

DES MOINES — A bill advancing in the Iowa Senate would get rid of the requirement that “No Smoking” signs be prominently placed at the entrances of Iowa businesses.

Senator Jason Schultz recently noticed a fresh, brand new “No Smoking” sticker in Denison and it struck him as unnecessary. “Everybody now understands that you cannot smoke in public buildings and the culture has moved,” Schultz said Tuesday afternoon.

Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act is nearly 14 years old. Schultz said the “No Smoking” signs seem to be “a burdensome and unnecessary regulation” that can be eliminated.

“I understood why you would want to have signs and stickers in the beginning, even though I wasn’t really thrilled with the Smokefree Air Act, but I get that you need to have a consistent public notice system, ” Schultz said. “We are so far beyond that point now.”

Schultz said this is not a back door way to “chip away” at the law that bans smoking in public areas and in vehicles, like semis, that are owned by an employer.

“I just would like to see the sticker mandate removed from Code,” Schultz said. “Nothing beyond this.”

Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig, and two other senators have signed off on the bill, making it eligible for debate in a Senate committee. The Iowa Department of Public Health provides “no smoking” signs and stickers to businesses, free of charge. A spokesperson for the agency said the signs also list a website and phone number for people to lodge complaints about illegal smoking in public places.