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WI Adapting To New Smoking Law

August 11, 2010

MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin's new law prohibiting smoking in public places went into effect on July 5. After a little more than a month of learning to comply with the new rules, Dona Wininski, public policy director for the American Lung Association's Wisconsin chapter, says residents and business owners in the Badger State are doing a pretty good job.

"People in Wisconsin are very law-abiding citizens and they understand what this law is intended to accomplish, which is to protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke."

Wininski says there are a couple areas where better understanding is needed, however. For instance, the new law prohibits smoking indoors, as well as in public places such as Miller Park and Lambeau Field. Some people are not aware that apartment buildings are covered too, says Wininski.

"All multi-unit housing is also smokefree, except for the apartments or the living quarters themselves. But things like the hallways, the shared spaces, the laundry facilities — anyplace that's open to all of the residents — those are smoke-free under this law."

If you own an apartment building or a business, Wininski says it's easy to get the required signs online, at www.wibettersmokefree.com.

"The materials that are available on the website are all downloadable. You don't order them there; you can download them yourself and print signs and other things that you need for your business."

She says materials are also available by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA (586-4872). Violations of the no-smoking law can be reported on the same website, or by calling 1-800-NO-SMOKE (667-6653).

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI