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"The anti-smoking movement has become more sophisticated in its efforts to enact bans and restrictions on smoking.... They have adopted a 'Pac-man' strategy where they attempt to gobble up one community at a time.... The 'Pac-man' strategy makes sense for the antis because it is easier for a group of extremists to have an impact on the local level than in larger jurisdictions.... The solution to 'Pac-man' is statewide pre-emption."

Tina Walls
Philip Morris


Smokefree air coming to Wisconsin!

Starting on July 5, 2010, all of Wisconsin's indoor workplaces, including all restaurants and bars, will be 100% smokefree. The new law was signed by Governor Doyle signed the smokefree workplace bill into law on Monday, May 18th, 2009. The law will also includes 100% of hotels and motels, becoming the first state to make 100% of hotel rooms smokefree. Read about the new smokefree law.

The law exempts tobacco retail shops and cigar bars under certain conditions, and unfortunately also preempts local cities and towns for prohibiting smoking on outdoor areas of private property (so locals cities and towns may no longer pass smokefree restaurant or bar patio laws, for example).

To learn more about smokefree air in Wisconsin, visit Smokefree Wisconsin.

A University of Wisconsin - Madison study, released in July 2005, found that the indoor pollutant levels from secondhand smoke in Madison's restaurants, bars, and taverns well exceeded nationally recognized "safe" levels before its 100% smokefree law went into effect on July 1, 2005. A follow-up study in 2006 examined the indoor air quality of the same establishments after going 100% smokefree indoors found that density of tobacco smoke declined by 91% after the ordinance went into effect. Read the full 2005 report (PDF) and the full 2006 follow-up report to learn about the studies' findings.

Wisconsin law does not preempt the passage of local smokefree indoor air laws, but the new law that will go into effect 7/5/2010 does preempt local communities from adopting smokefree laws on outdoor areas of private property. Read more about current tobacco-related legislation in Wisconsin.

Current tobacco-related statistics are available from the Centers for Disease Control's Tobacco Control State Highlights, 2010.

Wisconsin's 2018 Legislative Session: January 9 - TBD

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