Wis. lawmakers reach deal to ban smoking

Smoking outside
Indoor smoking would be banned in Wisconsin under an agreement announced today by lawmakers in Madison, Wis.
MPR Photo/Tom Robertson

Smoking would be banned in all restaurants and taverns in Wisconsin starting July 5, 2010, under a deal announced Wednesday by Wisconsin lawmakers.

After years of debate, legislative leaders say they reached a deal on a statewide smoking ban that could pass both houses soon and be signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle.

Ban supporters reached a compromise with the powerful Wisconsin Tavern League, which had warned the ban would hurt business at bars.

Bill supporters agreed to delay implementation until July 2010 so that bars would have time to prepare for the change.

The deal exempts cigar bars and tobacco shops from the ban.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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