Sign, sign — everywhere a sign?

As you may know, today is the day Iowa’s new ban on smoking in most public places goes into effect.  We’ve spent some bit of Radio Iowa airtime discussing the new requirements for prominently placing signs in areas designating as non-smoking.  Iowa Health Systems, for example, had a handful of employees spend a day-and-a-half putting up the several hundred signs that were required in its three hospitals and 18 clinics.

Josie Klingaman, communications director for House Republican Leader Christopher Rants, has emailed photos to reporters this afternoon that she said show the Republican Party of Iowa’s office is sporting one of the newly-required signs at its entrance, while the Iowa Democratic Party’s headquarters does not have a sign posted.  Brooke Borkenhager, the press secretary for the Iowa Democratic Party, says the building Klingaman photographed is not open to the public right now. It’s being used as a storage facility. The party and its staff moved into another building to run campaign activities and, according to Borkenhagen, that office has had no smoking signs "on both sides" of the entrance since April.

Klingaman also photographed the campaign headquarters of Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Democrats — and she claimed it did not have the required no smoking sign.  I called Grant Woodard, a spokesman for the Boswell campaign, who then walked around the outside of the building and counted three no-smoking signs.  He also examined one of Klingamann’s pictures and sent it back with a red circle.  Inside the circle is the no-smoking sign at the Locust Street entrance of the building.  In the case of the Boswell campaign, they are renting office space and — according to the new state law — landlords, not tenants, are responsible for posting the no smoking signs.

UPDATE:  Klingaman emailed this at 5:37 p.m.:

Hey Kay,

Saw your post about the Smokefree Air Act signs….

Wanted to point out a couple of things.  First, even though the Iowa Democratic Party may be using their office on Fleur as storage, it is still a place of employment and therefore must have the sticker.  Unfortunately, it does not matter whether the building is open to the public or not.  Secondly, in the photo of Cong. Boswell’s outer office, I do believe there is an "old fashioned" no smoking sticker, one with a cigarette and a line through it.  Technically still not in compliance with the Smokefree Air Act.  According to the new law, the sign that is posted must have the Smokefree Act hotline as well as the website. 

I’m glad you’re able to bring some of these matters to the attention of Iowans, this law is obviously very confusing and unclear.

P.S.  As you may recall, Klingaman’s boss voted against the smoking ban.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.