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News Summary

Restaurants back state smoking ban

Publication Date: 2/8/2007
  • Author:AP
  • Publication:Chippewa Valley Newspapers

A group that represents about 5,000 restaurants across the state has come out in support of a proposed ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and all workplaces.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association voted at its Jan. 30 meeting to support the ban, without any exemptions for taverns or bar areas in restaurants, the group said in a release Wednesday.

The Tavern League, which lobbies on behalf of the state’s 13,000 bar owners, wants an exemption for taverns. Gov. Jim Doyle, who announced the plan last month, said Tuesday that he was willing to compromise on the proposal, which also includes a $1.25 per pack cigarette tax increase.

The Restaurant Association said the patchwork of local ordinances limiting smoking puts restaurants at a disadvantage because customers who want to smoke can easily go to another place nearby where it is allowed.

A statewide ban would eliminate that problem, the group’s president said.