Surviving Wisconsin’s Smokefree Law

When you can’t breathe nothing else matters.

By Jack E. Lohman

As a former smoker I’m paying the price… breathing problems, which I brought on myself. So I understand the ire of smokers, and as well, the restaurant and tavern owners who are wondering what will happen with their businesses on July 1st.

You’ll all be just fine. Your world will not crumble. One year after New York went smoke free its Department of Labor reported that 10,000 new restaurant and tavern jobs were added. They found out that smokers didn’t quit eating after all, and more nonsmokers actually came out of hiding to eat. (We’re a wimpy bunch, don’cha know.)

I’m not for making cigarettes illegal, but then again, I don’t support making hard drugs illegal either. It’s that forbidden fruit thingy.

Where are the heads of restaurant and tavern owners?

They could have forestalled this law and increased revenues in the process. First, they could have simply isolated and exhausted the smoke… to the outside! Don’t recirculate it, exhaust it totally to free the smokers and nonsmokers and wait staff and bartenders and managers from (re)breathing it. Filters don’t work.

Secondly by setting aside just one night a week for nonsmoking (though that will grow due to popularity). Smokers would have loved this too, isolating us wimps. Give them a Friday or Saturday if you want the kids or to give the adults flexibility. If operators are smart they’d do it now and not wait until July 1st (unless they can’t handle the new business it would create).

Or, just remove the ash trays now! Those that switch early will win customers from those that don’t.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Yea, but I must allow smoking because the smokers keep coming back!”  None of these guys ever considered the nonsmokers who quit returning, the smokers were all they saw. Go figure!

There are now 80.1% nonsmokers and 19.9% smokers, and for every smoker a business might lose they will pick up two nonsmokers. And the nonsmokers consume 60% of the nation’s alcohol! That’s math most of us understand.

If an operator decides to go smoke free earlier than the deadline, don’t keep it a secret. The only way your competitor’s customers will hear about it is if you advertise it! Get help HERE.

This is an issue of employee safety, nonsmokers can go elsewhere. But waitresses, even those who smoke, effectively consume an extra pack of cigarettes per day in a smoky work environment. Over a dozen states have mandated safe workplaces, though Philip Morris owned Wisconsin’s state legislature and it took longer than most. Hell, it took us three years just to get smoking out of daycare centers!!!

One would think that campaign contributions were involved. Naw, it couldn’t be.  🙂

In the meantime visit SmokeFreeDining.net to search for a restaurant or bar with your favorite cuisine, and Taverns Clearing the Air. These folks have tried it both ways.

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