MASON CITY, Iowa - Sunday officially marked 10 years since the Iowa Smokefree Air Act went into law.
The act went into effect July 1, 2008, and barred restaurants from allowing patrons to light up in the outdoor seating or serving areas of restaurants, while allowing bars to allow patrons to smoke on patios, decks or any other outdoor areas of bars, but not if they provide entertainment.
Vickie Lau is part owner of the Blue Heron in Mason City, and she and her husband were owners of Gentle Ben's, also in Mason City, when the ban took effect.
"My oldest daughter, when she was little, had some lung issues, so she wasn't allowed to come to our establishment for very long because it would really affect her breathing, she would get sick. It made for a non family friendly environment."
She's also seen more support than complaints, and more business.
"We've had more families come in to our establishment because it's clean, it's fresh, and they don't have to worry about being suffocated with smoke."
The ban doesn't just affect businesses. Residents can't smoke in common areas of apartment buildings either, though it doesn't apply to the individual apartment.