Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has approved legislation establishing a smoking ban in bars, restaurants and other workplaces, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported May 18.
“We all can take a deep breath and enjoy the accomplishment that will occur here today,” Doyle said.
The law will take effect July 5, 2010. Lawmakers compromised on a later start date than originally proposed, with bill opponents saying the legislation would lead to local businesses shutting down.
Doyle and other supporters of the measure countered that businesses in areas with local smoking bans have continued to prosper.
“There were so many communities that went smoke-free — 37 communities,” Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee). “That really changed the landscape.”
The ban does not apply to Indian-run casinos or existing cigar bars and specialty tobacco shops. However, local smoking bans will remain in effect until the state ban takes effect.