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IDPH to handle smoking offenders

By Staff | Jul 1, 2008

Today’s the day there will be no more butts in most public places.

Cigarette butts, that is, along with smoke from all tobacco products are no longer acceptable in certain public places for the Smokefree Air Act is protecting the health of Iowans.

Estherville Chief of Police Eric Milburn contacted the Estherville Daily News Monday and said, “Anyone wishing to call law enforcement about any smoking complaints will be directed to Iowa Department of Public Health as this is a civil penalty and not a criminal offense.”

Because it is not criminal in nature, the chief said officers will not be handling any complaints.

The number to call is 1-888-944-2247 for any public smoking complaints or offenses.

The civil penalty amount is $50.

According to the online brochure created by the IDPH, “The law applies to restaurants, bars, food service establishments, outdoor sports arenas and amphitheaters. It also covers places of employment such as office buildings, health care facilities and child care facilities.”

For more information, the public is directed to: www.iowasmokefreeair.gov. A link is included for the actual statute (HF2212) tucked in the Iowa Code.