Monday, September 24, 2007

Smoke-free Minnesota in One Week!

There's just one week until Minnesota, our neighbor to the west, goes completely smoke-free in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. As much as I'm looking forward to the Packers crushing the Vikings this coming Sunday and relish when the Badgers win/hold on to Paul Bunyan's infamous axe (which we will defend for the 4th-straight win on Nov. 17), I'm very jealous of Minnesota right now.

Minnesota is taking a big step forward for public health and Wisconsin is being left in the dust. We know, based on health studies conducted in Madison and Appleton, that non-smoking Minnesotan bartenders will be experiencing immediate health benefits from their workplaces going smoke-free. Meanwhile, Wisconsin bartenders will continue to be exposed to the over 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, 69 of which are known to cause cancer.

It's time for Wisconsin to join the national trend and go smoke-free. Starting Oct. 1, Minnesota will have a leg up on Wisconsin for public health. How long will we let them pass us up?

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