Backing the Smoking Ban

"I think it's a great day for the health of all Madison residents," says Dr. Michael Fiore, director of the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

Smoke no longer fills the air in Madison bars and restaurants.

Dr. Fiore says recent data shows more smokers will quit with the new smoking ban.

"People who hadn't thought about quitting decide this may be a good time to do that," he says, "If I can't smoke at work or at my favorite place to have a drink or have supper, maybe I want to think about quitting."

Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz lights up at the change during his lunch hour.

"I think it's great," he says, "People are enjoying their lunch, I get to enjoy my lunch and I can go back to the office not smelling like the inside of a bar."

In fact, 80% of Madisonians don't smoke, according to the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention.

One reason the mayor says something had to be done.

"It has been a serious public health threat both for people who frequent bars and for people who work here," says Cieslewicz, "So that's the main reason we did it. That'll be the main benefit."

And Dr. Fiore says there are many benefits that outweigh any cost.

"There is nothing in our environment today that is as dangerous as second hand smoke," he says, "It's good for business, it's good for health, everybody wins."

If you've been thinking about quitting smoking, you can call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-877-270-STOP (7867) for free counseling and self-help materials.

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