Wisconsin - legislature passes smoking ban in restaurants, bars and other businesses..


May 14, 2009 - Smoking would be banned in restaurants, bars and other businesses starting in July 2010 under a bill the Legislature passed Wednesday, May 13th.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, who has made an indoor smoking ban a priority, pledged to sign the measure. "Today, Wisconsin is taking an important step to save lives and protect our kids and citizens from the scourge of tobacco," Doyle said in a statement.

Virtually all workplaces would become smoke-free on July 5, 2010.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin fought the ban for years. Though the group lost the battle, it won a concession by delaying the start date a year. Taverns and restaurants could allow smoking in outdoor areas under the bill.

Although Democrats control both houses of the Legislature, the issue didn't break along party lines. Efforts to soften the ban were fought off by a coalition of Democrats and key Republicans.

The measure gives lawmakers an issue they can tout in campaigns at a time when they face a record $6.6 billion deficit over two years that will force the

Reference: Assembly, Senate pass indoor smoking ban by Patrick Marley, Steven Walters and Stacy Forster, Miwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, 5/13/2009.

Wisconsin related news briefs: Count Wisconsin as the 26th state to ban smoking..; Wisconsin may be the 26th state to ban smoking in all bars and restaurants..; Wisconsin - Increased Sales Tax Decrease in Smoking..; Wisconsin's achieves the lowest adult smoking prevalence ever..; The primary reason to increase the tax on tobacco is to get smokers to quit and dissuade kids from starting..; Wisconsin cigarette tax and tax on other tobacco products to increase January 1, 2008..;Wisconsin to Increase Tax on All Tobacco Products..; Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly (2-to-1) favor upping cigarette taxes by $1.25 a pack..

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