I was born and raised in Wisconsin and stayed to attend UW-Madison. My blood runs thick with bratwurst and cheese. Driving through the rolling hills tells me I'm home.
While I live in Seattle now, this week I am proud to be a Wisconsonite at heart because this great state has finally chosen to make all indoor public places smoke free. So proud, in fact, that I flew across country to celebrate the occasion.
Washington has been smoke free for five years in its workplaces, restaurants and bars. And guess what? Business is booming with higher-than-expected bar and tavern revenues. What could be better? Workers and patrons are healthier.
Customers love the smoke-free air. Smokers don't seem to mind either. One smoker friend said it's great because he cuts down on how many cigarettes he smokes when he's out, and he doesn't smell so awful when he gets home. Smoking rates have gone down statewide since the law began. It sounds like the only losers are the tobacco companies.
I came back here to celebrate Implementation Day. And when I looked at those fireworks the night before, I cheered for Wisconsin workers and their new independence from secondhand smoke.
You're going to love this new law. And finally, my husband said we can go out in Wisconsin again.
— Annie Tegen, Seattle, Wash.