Smoke-Free Wisconsin?

By: Allison Miller
By: Allison Miller

The Governor says the money would be used for anti-smoking and quit smoking programs along with helping pay for smoking related Medicaid costs.

"If if that's our real purpose then let's put that tax out there at a buck and a quarter where it's really going to have a sharp effect on driving smoking down. I feel the same way about the ban. Let's do this and let's do it right," says Doyle.

Eau Claire already bans smoking in all restaurants but this bill would obviously mean changes for the city's bars.

Larry Duss owns Northwoods Brewpub.

He says even though he's a non smoker he doesn't mind serving those who light up, that's in part because of a good ventilation system but also because smokers are a big part of his business.

Duss says he's fine with the status quo.

"A lot of people come to a bar to smoke and I just can't see segregating people all outside the front door all outside smoking. That doesn't look good for anybody."

But standing outside is exactly what smokers do if they're drinking at Dooley's.

Dooley's owner opened the smoke-free bar about a year and a half ago and says so far it's been a success.

"I receive a lot of compliments and thank yous from people who are glad they have a place in Eau Claire where they don't have to deal with smoke if they're non-smokers," says Mike Dooley.

"Even in January the diehards go outside."

Dooley's non-smoking success hasn't convinced him a statewide ban is needed however. He says that decision should be made by bar owners not the government.

Chippewa Falls area Representative and public health committee member Terry Moulton says businesses owners and local governments should decide smoking bans.

Democratic Senator Pat Kreitlow thinks only public places where a lot of kids are present should be subject to the ban.

Obviously a lot will have to be hashed out before the Governor gets anything he can sign into law.


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