Officials discuss how ban will be enforced across public circles

Dylan Boyle

The statewide smoking ban goes into effect on July 1, but no one knows how the law will be enforced yet, on campus or Welch Avenue.

The Iowa Department of Public Health will be in charge of enforcing the ban around Iowa, while the ISU Department of Environmental Health and Safety will enforce the ban on campus.

David Inyang, director of the Environmental Health and Safety, said he is still waiting for guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health before he determines how the ban will be enforced on campus.

“We will take our cues from the Department of Public Health,” Inyang said. “But at this point we have been given no guidance on enforcement.”

Inyang said a meeting with the Department of Public Health has been scheduled for this week, and he hopes he will have a better idea how enforcement will work after the meeting.

Rules of enforcement are being hashed out at the departmental level, but bars in Campustown are left wondering what role they will play in enforcement as well.

“We don’t know how it’s going to be enforced,” said Joseph Dodson, manager of Cafe Beaudelaire, 2504 Lincoln Way, and graduate student in history. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue, though, because I think people will pretty much know that you can’t smoke in the bars.”

Dodson said bar owners would probably carry more responsibility than police in enforcing the ban because there is no way police can be in every bar making sure people don’t smoke. Dodson also thought people wouldn’t try to smoke in the bars because ashtrays will be removed.

Enforcement, for some – no matter how it happens – will not be an easy task.

“I don’t know how we’re going to enforce it, but I do know it will be a pain in the ass,” said Nick Miller, doorman at Mickey’s Irish Pub, 109 Welch Ave., and senior in kinesiology and health. “What are we supposed to do besides tell them to put it out?”

Miller said everyone at Mickey’s supports the ban, but he thinks bars will still find loopholes around the law to eventually allow smoking.

“They’ll probably try and say they are a private club or something to get around the ban,” Miller said.

Though some in Campustown might take the ban as a loss, Cafe Beaudelaire is trying to make the best of the situation.

“I think the owner is thinking about having an ashtray party,” Dodson said. “Something like buy a Long Island, get a free ashtray.”