On July 5, Wisconsin will celebrate the second anniversary of the state’s popular Smoke-Free Workplace Law.
“Vilas County residents and visitors are pleased with the WI Smoke-Free Workplace Law,” said Gina Egan, Vilas County Health Department Health Officer, noting that 86 percent of patrons find bars and restaurants nicer and more enjoyable because of the smoke-free environment. “People can take their families out to eat without worrying about secondhand smoke.”
The state’s restaurants, bars, and other businesses also played a big role in the law’s success. Less than one percent of businesses have had compliance issues in the last two years.
Not only are businesses doing well, workers are healthier.
“The law was put into place in order to protect the health of workers,” said Egan, noting that 89 percent of Wisconsinites agree that smoke-free restaurants and bars are healthier for employees and customers.
Air quality in restaurants and bars showed an extraordinary improvement after the law took effect, according to a UW Carbone Cancer Center Indoor Air Quality Study. And a report by the UW-Milwaukee Center for Urban Initiatives and Research found that Wisconsin bartenders saw a significant drop in respiratory health symptoms following the law’s implementation.
“The WI Smoke-Free Law has been a success in our community,” said Egan. “And the law has made us all healthier.”
For more information on smoke-free laws in WI, email Nicole Kostrova at the Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org.