Wisconsin - preparing residents for a more complete smoking ban starting in July 2010..

June 10, 2010 - A new ad campaign will help remind Wisconsin residents that the statewide smoking ban begins this summer.
Governor Jim Doyle signed a smoking ban Monday, May 18, 2009 making bars, restaurants and other workplaces smoke-free starting next summer, July 5, 2010.

Marathon County health leaders say less than half of the municipalities in the state have already passed smoking bans in their communities, so the transition will be a big change for Wisconsin smokers and business owners.

The smoking ban begins on July 5th across Wisconsin, which means all enclosed places of employment and public spaces will be required to become smoke free.

So Wisconsin health officials are issuing a series of print, Internet and radio ads to try to get the word out. The ads are directed toward the general public, so they aren't surprised when July 5th arrives.

"The main theme of the ads is that Wisconsin is better smoke free, and we certainly are.
And even here in Marathon County last year we had 128 deaths related to smoking," says Dot Kalmon, of the Marathon County Health Department's Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition.

Health leaders say cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease worldwide, and nearly 7000 people died from smoking related disease in Wisconsin last year. They say the ban will provide consistency across Wisconsin, to level the playing field for businesses, and they hope the ads will help people be prepared for the new changes and avoid unnecessary fines.

IMAGE: Governor Jim Doyle and Maureen Buscalacchi,Executive Director of Smoke Free Wisconsin..

Reference: State Launches Smoking Ban Ad Campaign, reporter Jennifer Kliese (jennifer.kliese@wsaw.com), Wausau.com (Wsaw.com), 6/9/2010.

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