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News Summary

With Armstrong coming, smoking ban push heats up

Publication Date: 2008-02-27
  • Author:Judith Davidoff
  • Publication:(Madison, WI) Capital Times

With less than a month to go before the Legislature adjourns, advocates of a smoking ban in bars and restaurants are turning up the heat, bringing bicycling star Lance Armstrong to the state to help advance their cause and issuing data they say proves smoking bans elsewhere have not hurt local economies.

They also plan to pack the room today when the Assembly Public Health Committee holds a public hearing on the bill at noon.

In its report, "Smoke and Mirrors: Tobacco Industry Claims Unfounded," the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) looked at data from Madison and Appleton, which both passed smoking bans in July 2005.

The report found that requests for liquor licenses in both cities actually increased after ban implementation. In Madison, the number of licensed liquor establishments went from 332 in July 2005 to 365 in January 2008. And for the first time, Appleton has a waiting list for Class B liquor licenses.