Friday, September 19, 2008

Smoke Free Rural Dane County

Congratulations to the Dane County Board of Supervisors for ensuring that everyone in an unincorporated area within the county deserves the right to breathe clean smoke-free air. This is a landmark ordinance in the state of Wisconsin because it is a comprehensive county-wide ordinance that protects all workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The implementation time line will allow businesses in the rural parts of Dane County ample time to modify their business plans to ensure compliance.

This comprehensive smoke-free ordinance passed with a 21-14 margin with 2 supervisors absent. This strong smoke-free ordinance will go into effect August 15, 2009. Thank you Dane County for taking action where the state has failed to take action. Hopefully in January we can finally rip the band aid off and have a comprehensive smoke-free law without exemptions or delays.

Additionally a resolution was passed in support of the remaining villages and cities passing similar ordinances. The Dane County Ordinance and other smoke-free municipalities will increase pressure on the state to act. It’s time everyone in the great state of Wisconsin have the right to breathe clean air in public and at work.

Thank you to all who came out last night to speak in support of the ordinance. I am also looking forward to working with many of the tavern owners who indicated that they are ready for a level playing field and would like to see a strong statewide law that would ensure all workplaces will be smoke free.


Anonymous said...

Why are you all obsessed with bars? I don't know any office buildings or retail stores, anywhere in the state, that allow smoking inside. And the number of restaurants that still allow smoking are becoming a thing of the past--without government smoking bans. I would bet somewhere between 95% and 97% of all businesses and so-called "public places" are already smoke-free, without the government having to lift a finger. Nowadays, if you can resist the urge to walk into a bar (to poison your liver and kill some brain cells), you can easily avoid secondhand smoke 100% of the time. Thus, as a public health issue, smoking bans are a solution in search of a problem.

If smoking bans were truly about protecting non-smokers from SHS, you'd have to admit you've already succeeded, and you should declare victory and fold up your tents. But smoking bans aren't about protecting non-smokers, are they? Instead, they're all about making smoking so inconvenient and humiliating that smokers will be forced to quit. Your real focus is stick it to the smokers, not to protect the nonsmokers. Your message and campaign are a fraud.

Liz @ SmokeFree Wisconsin said...

It's not as simple as customers resisting going into places where secondhand smoke is present. It's about everyone who enters those public places, including the workers. Bartenders, servers, hostesses, dishwashers, sanitarians, musicians, and others. We all deserve to breathe safe, smoke-free air in public and at work.