As of 12:01 this morning smoking is prohibited in Wisconsin work places including offices, indoor worksites, taxis, restaurants, bars, or taverns. Governor Jim Doyle signed the ban into law back in May of 2009, since then businesses having been preparing including members of the Jackson County Tavern League.
“Obviously, the simple part is making sure no ashtrays and anything that…would entice anyone to smoke. There are people that are definitely gonna’ forget about it and then as with a lot of businesses, being able to allow for an area to them, for them where they’ll be able to smoke outdoors,” says Jackson County Tavern League President Jerel Gunning.
He believes the ban will affect businesses. “The taverns, and so forth, that are really going to hurt are gonna’ be the small corner taverns that are really part of Wisconsin’s landscape, in my opinion. That’s part of Wisconsin culture. You have people who go down to these taverns to relax, have a cocktail, a cigarette, and enjoy themselves. And that’s the business owners, that’s who it’s gonna’ hurt.”
Those who support the smoking ban have been looking forward to today for quite some time saying now they’ll no longer be exposed to the health risks of smoking and second hand smoke.
Meanwhile Gunning says smokers are aware of the ban. “You know, it’s an issue that’s been going on for years. Probably the most discussion I hear from people is that it’s one more step that the government thinks that they need to control more of our personal freedoms and personal lives.”