Statewide Smoking Ban

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Smoking bans go into effect in Madison and Appleton at the end of this week, but local government's efforts may be voided by a bill from the state legislature.

The Senate could vote this week on a bill already passed by the Assembly that would create statewide regulations for dining establishments.

But Eau Claire's City-County Health Department's director says they would be a step in the wrong direction.

"I'd rather have our city council and our board of health make health and safety ordinances to protect our community from these kind of issues, not the tavern league and not the tobacco industry," says Jim Ryder.

Assembly majority leader Mike Huebsch says smoking bans need to be made in increments and this bill allows 1800 communities to be smoke free instead of the 22 that currently have local legislation.