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About 100 days left to prepare for smoke-free law

Publication Date: 3/23/2010
  • Author:TERRY RINDFLEISCH
  • Publication:La Crosse Tribune

Businesses need to start preparing now for the Wisconsin smoke-free workplace law that takes effect in about 100 days, local health officials said.

"I don't think change is on their radar screen yet, but it needs to be," said Paula Silha, a health educator with the La Crosse County Health Department.

Some of the changes, including building improvements or thorough cleaning, likely will take some time, she said. Employers should decide on the proper signs, for example, and whether they plan to help employees quit smoking, Silha said.

"One of the reasons for the long delay in implementation was the opponents wanted to give work sites time to get ready to go smoke free," Silha said.

Most people forget that hotels, indoor work sites and bowling centers are among the smoke-free areas included in the law, which takes effect July 5, she said.

"This law was not just about making restaurants and bars smoke free, but all indoor work sites and public places," Silha said.