The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

May 9, 2013

Clearing the air

(Continued)

“We’re going to have to change a culture in our community. Big time. That’s what we’re going to have to do,” Obren said.

Clinton County historically has a high percentage of adult smokers. In the 2013 County Health Rankings, a national study that measures health factors across the country, Clinton County reported a 28 percent adult smoking rate. Iowa has 18 percent and the national benchmark is 13 percent. Adult smoking is factored into the health behaviors section on the County Health Rankings. Clinton came in 99 out of 99 Iowa counties for health behaviors.

Gerdes asked if city officials could make a policy change in order to instill the non-smoking attitude in the community and in turn help Clinton become healthier.

“We’re looking for something officially and by that what I mean is even if council would pass where it is youth-structured events. Even the fact of us being able to post signage...how many people would comply?”

Obren agreed that a large percentage of people would comply if they were asked to abstain from smoking.

“If you ask, you’ll get 80 to 85 percent compliance and then pretty soon the culture begins changing. Then another 5 percent and another 5 percent. You’re always going to have 5 percent that’s going to be a problem,” Obren said.

Committee members asked tobacco-free supporters to come back to the committee meeting next month with a plan for phasing in the policy.

Clinton ranks last in Iowa for health In the 2013 County Health Rankings, a national study that measures health factors across the country, Clinton County reported a 28 percent adult smoking rate. Iowa has 18 percent and the national benchmark is 13 percent. Adult smoking is factored into the health behaviors section on the County Health Rankings. Clinton came in 99 out of 99 Iowa counties for health behaviors.

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