The Tavern League of Wisconsin will have something to say, about Governor Jim Doyle call for a statewide smoking ban. The Tavern League 's lobbyist, Scott Stenger, says members aren't necessarily opposed to the concept. "We have been lobbying for a statewide policy for the past couple of years." However,
Stenger says the league can make the case for a smoking ban in restaurants while still allowing tavern owners to maintain smoking in their establishments. "Our members look forward to trying to work with the governor to be able to accommodate the concerns of small business," says Stenger.
Stenger also says that data from Appleton and Madison, which have comprehensive smoking bans that include taverns, conclusively proves that the bans have negatively impacted league members in those cities. He says that, from the Tavern League's perspective, this is an economic issue "There is smoking, it is a legal activity and it does occur in Wisconsin Taverns," says Stenger. "We're willing to say you can't smoke anywhere, but at that area in the tavern."
A statewide smoking ban, and a $1.25 hike in the cigarette tax, are key pieces in Governor Jim Doyle's just announced anti-smoking initiative .