WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/26/08) - Starting this July all public workplaces in Eau Claire, including bars will be smoke free. The Eau Claire City Council voted 7 to 4 Tuesday in favor of an ordinance ending cigarette smoking in all public workplaces. The vote comes after a public hearing where council members listened to testimony about the health dangers of secondhand smoke including increased risk of lung cancer, heart disease and chronic respiratory problems. Thirty-three Wisconsin communities have now passed some kind of smoke free ordinance.
“We’re thrilled the Eau Claire City Council has taken this step to protect the health of its workers,” said Alison Prange, Wisconsin Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society.
“People are no longer willing to wait for the state. They realize this is a public health issue and are taking action now,” added Maureen Busalacchi, Executive Director of Smoke Free Wisconsin.
Eau Claire already prohibits smoking inside its restaurants but now joins Madison, Appleton, Shorewood and Shorewood Hills in ending smoking in all public workplaces including bars.
The Madison suburb of Fitchburg will go smoke free April 1st, 2008.
Residents of the Wood County city of Marshfield will vote on its own smoke free referendum on Tuesday, April 1st.
Other communities actively looking into comprehensive smoke free ordinances include Monona and Middleton.
“The time has come to put an end to this public health risk,” said Prange.
“These communities are leading the way and we commend them for having the foresight and courage to do so now rather than later,” Prange said.
Thirty-three Wisconsin communities have now passed some kind of smoke free ordinance.
Twenty-three states including Minnesota and Illinois have passed statewide laws prohibiting indoor smoking as a matter of public health.