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News Summary

Assembly, Senate pass indoor smoking ban

Publication Date: 2009-05-14
  • Author:Patrick Marley, Steven Walters and Stacy Forster
  • Publication:Milwaukee (WI) Journal-Sentinel

Smoking would be banned in restaurants, bars and other businesses starting in July 2010 under a bill the Legislature passed Wednesday.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, who has made an indoor smoking ban a priority, pledged to sign the measure.

"Today, Wisconsin is taking an important step to save lives and protect our kids and citizens from the scourge of tobacco," Doyle said in a statement.

"I wish the ban would be implemented sooner, but I am proud the state is embracing the healthy direction the world is going. Making Wisconsin smoke-free will save money in health care costs, improve public health across the state and save lives."

The measure passed the Senate 25-8 and the Assembly 61-38.

Virtually all workplaces would become smoke-free on July 5, 2010.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin fought the ban for years. Though the group lost the battle, it won a concession by delaying the start date a year.