By Edgar Mendez
It’s undeniable. Wisconsinites enjoy their smoke-free air, especially in bars and restaurants.
A recent Rasmussen Reports public opinion survey of 500 likely voters has shown that residents of our great state overwhelmingly support smoke-free policies, in place here since 2010.
Three-fourths supported smoke-free air laws.
In terms of the smoke-free restaurants and bars, nearly 90 percent felt restaurants were healthier for customers, 86 percent believed the establishments were more enjoyable to patronize while 84 percent felt the smokefree laws were necessary to protect employees.
“Even the food in the restaurants tastes better now,” said Julian Goodwin, who’s a volunteer for the Wisconsin Hispanic Latino Tobacco Prevention Network at UMOS.
For Goodwin and others, smoky bars and restaurants already seem like a distant memory after only two years of Wisconsin being smoke-free.
In their place there healthier patrons and customers, and cleaner, fresher air, as smokers are now asked to step into designated patios or outside to smoke.
Contrary to the popular notion among bar owners that businesses would be damaged by the smoking ban, they’ve actually fared well, according to the survey.
Nine out of 10 Wisconsinites are going out the same or more often now that bars and restaurants are smoke-free.
Also, less than one percent of businesses have had issues with compliance to the new laws, meaning that very few businesses have had much trouble following smokefree policies.
Ramon Orozco, owner of Tres Hermanos Bar and Restaurant, 1332 W. Lincoln Ave., was so glad to implement the policy that he did it months before the actual ban went into effect.
Orozco talked about the improved ambience at his family-friendly restaurant, and also mentioned another effect the ban had.
“I don’t have to go home smelling like smoke anymore