Wisconsin Shows Going Smoke-Free Protects Health without Hurting Business
State celebrates second anniversary of smoke-free law
Posted by: Editor | Jul 10, 2012
As Wisconsin celebrates the second anniversary of its smoke-free workplace law, the state is providing the latest evidence that going smoke-free protects health without hurting business.
It's clear that Wisconsin's law has been good for health. The percentage of Wisconsin residents who say they're exposed to tobacco smoke fell by nearly half after the law took effect, according to a study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Before the law, 55 percent of residents reported being exposed to smoke outside the home and 13 percent at home. After the law, 32 percent reported exposure to smoke outside the home and 7 percent at home.
The evidence is also clear that the law has not hurt business. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's headline says it all: "As smoking ban marks second year, restaurant business is up."
According to state tax data, restaurant and tavern sales increased one percent in 2010 and two percent in 2011, similar to national trends, according to the Journal Sentinel.
A representative of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association said the smoke-free law "has been positive for the restaurant industry. It's been great for the health of our employees and customers."
Wisconsin's experience mirrors that of the other 28 states and hundreds of cities across the country that have gone smoke-free. The evidence is clear that smoke-free laws do not hurt business at restaurants and bars.
It’s time for every state and community to go smoke-free and protect everyone's right to breathe clean air.