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Wisconsin Considers Smoking Ban, Tavern League Responds

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 5:19 am

No longer will bars in Wisconsin be able to offer patrons a drink and a smoke if a new compromise proposed by state legislators passes Wednesday.  The state is expected to pass the proposed ban, which would go into effect in July of 2010.  Pete Madland is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Tavern League.  He says the ban is going take business away from bars.

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Minnesota passed a smoking ban in 2007, much to the chagrin of bar owners. Proponents of the bans in both states say it helps eliminate the dangers of second-hand smoke, which the American Heart Association says can cause lung cancer, heart disease and other physical problems, even for non-smokers.

Madland estimates that roughly 70 percent of bar customers are smokers.  He believes bars are already doing enough to separate smokers from non-smokers.

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Under the proposed ban, bars and restaurants would still be allowed to set up designated smoking areas outside the establishments.  The ban also would go into effect for hotel rooms and other work places.  If approved, Wisconsin would become the 26th state to pass such a ban.

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