PNS Daily Newscast - September 24 

Update: A second accuser emerges with misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavenaugh. Also on the Monday rundown: We take you to a state where more than 60,000 kids are chronically absent from school; and we'll let you know why the rural digital divide can be a two-fold problem.

Daily Newscasts

Smoking Bans...Good For Health...Bad For Business?

July 7, 2008

Brookfield, WI – The battle over smoking in public places continues in Wisconsin, with today marking the start of the first full week of a new indoor smoking ban in Eau Claire. It's a law that forbids smoking in all public places, and it follows similar bans in other cities.

Donna Wininsky with the American Lung Association says more municipalities can be expected to do the same. Such local actions, she says, are in response to the legislature's inaction on the issue so far this year.

"The local communities are stepping up now to fill that void that was left by the state, so that shows that they're concerned on the local level with the health of their workers."

Wininsky says the legislature is expected this fall to take up another proposal for a statewide ban on smoking in public places, and that a new state poll shows a drop in the number of adult smokers. Health messages get some of the credit, she explains, especially the strong science over the past couple of years that shows exposure to second-hand smoke causes illnesses and even deaths.

"This is the first time in Wisconsin's history that the adult smoking rate is under 20 percent. It's actually 19.6 percent, and that's lower than the national average."

The Tavern League of Wisconsin says smoke-free policies hurt profits at bars and restaurants, and they violate smokers' rights.

Jim Mishler/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - WI