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Local governments gear up for smoking ban

Publication Date: 2/28/2010
  • Author:Nathaniel Shuda
  • Publication: Wisconsin Rapids (WI) Daily Tribune

With a little more than four months left before a statewide smoking ban goes into effect, central Wisconsin municipalities have started investigating ways they will deal with the new law.

Enforcement of the new state statute, which the Legislature passed in May, is one of the main issues for many jurisdictions, including Wisconsin Rapids, where officials met Thursday to discuss preliminary strategies for implementation and awareness...

While the law will affect taverns and restaurants, it also will impact other businesses, some of which already had smoke-free policies or implemented their own in anticipation of the state requirements. Those businesses include papermaker Domtar, which eliminated smoking Jan. 1 not only indoors but on the grounds of its Nekoosa mill, Carlson said.

"A lot of places already know and understand that smoking and second-hand smoke are bad for your health," she said. "It's really been wonderful to see workplaces take that stand and go smoke free."

Overall, officials think compliance likely will not be a problem, with planned statewide education efforts and a public relations campaign expected to start in April. Between business owners and other patrons, the public likely will do a good job of policing themselves, Stroik said.

"It's gone fairly well," he said of Marshfield's ban. "We have fielded relatively few complaints."