On a 56-44 bi-partisan vote, the Iowa House approved a statewide smoking ban today designed to improve the health of Iowans. The bill was approved with two exemptions, casinos and federally chartered veteran’s organizations that are closed to the public.

“Second hand smoke kills 440 non-smokers in Iowa every year and another 4,000 Iowans die each year from smoking-related illnesses. The bill approved today will save lives and protect 99% of Iowans in the work place and public places,” said State Representative Tyler Olson, D-Cedar Rapids, who managed the bill in the House.

The bill, House File 2212, creates smoke-free areas in public places such as workplaces, outdoor sports arenas, stadiums, bars and restaurants, public transit stations and within 10 feet of school grounds. Private residences are not required to be smoke-free. According the American Cancer Society, second smoke contains 63 chemicals that cause cancer, asthma and other respiratory diseases.

“We know that workers in the hospitality industry, including my sister, have a 50% greater chance of dying from lung cancer than the general population. These hard-working Iowans do not get to decide if their workplace is smoke free and they should not have to put their health in jeopardy to provide for their families,” said State Representative Elesha Gayman, D-Davenport.

The bill now moves to the Senate.