A new report suggests opponents of a statewide smoking ban may be exaggerating the financial impacts.
The report from WISPIRG provides the results of several studies, which looked at the financial impacts of smoking bans. Advocate Bruce Speight says the majority showed bans had a neutral or even positive impact on businesses.
Opponents of a statewide ban say it will drive customers away and force them out of business. Speight says that's not the case in Madison and Appleton, which saw liquor license applications go up after implementing a ban. Speight says many of the studies of state and local ban impacts found similar circumstances in other areas of the country.
Speight says the evidence supports Wisconsin's current push to implement a statewide smoking ban. An Assembly committee is holding a hearing today on the latest smoking ban proposal.