LETTER: Wisconsin law clears the airAs the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Apparently it also flies when your air is clean. It may be hard to believe, but Wisconsin’s landmark smoke-free workplace law is turning 3-years-old July 5.
As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Apparently it also flies when your air is clean. It may be hard to believe, but Wisconsin’s landmark smoke-free workplace law is turning 3-years-old July 5.
Today, many take it for granted that smoking isn’t allowed in Wisconsin bars and restaurants, but it wasn’t that long ago that you had to choose between “No Smoking” and “Smoking” sections or avoid places altogether because they were simply too smoky. Now, because of the smoke-free air law, Wisconsin’s workers are healthier, and everyone in Douglas County is able to enjoy a night out with family and friends without risking exposure to secondhand smoke.
However, the benefits of the smoke-free law are not limited to healthier workplaces. More and more families are also making their homes smoke-free.
Since the law took effect, secondhand smoke exposure inside the home has fallen from 13 percent to 7 percent, and the number of homes in Wisconsin with smoke-free rules has increased from 74 percent to 80 percent.
Perhaps the greatest benefit from the smoke-free law is that fewer of our kids are smoking. Since 2010, high school smoking has dropped 26 percent and middle school smoking fell 36 percent.
Judging from its three short years of existence, it’s clear the smoke-free law’s public health impact will only continue to grow in the years ahead. Simply put, Wisconsin is better — and far healthier — smoke-free.
Editor’s note: Grubbe is the northwest Wisconsin MJC program coordinator for the American Lung Association.