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Smoke-Free Air

To report non-compliance, visit 
Visit to learn more information about Wisconsin's smoke free air law. 

July 5, 2013, Madison Wis. – Friday marks the third anniversary of the statewide smoke-free air law and Wisconsin workers and businesses continue to thrive.

According to the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and state tax data, bar and restaurant sales receipts increased from 2011 to 2012 by nearly 4 percent. This follows a 2 percent increase in the year immediately following the law’s 2010 implementation.

“The smoke-free law has been great not only for the business in my restaurant and bar but also the health of my employees and customers, which is very important to me,” said Danielle Baerwald, owner of Erv’s Mug in Oak Creek. “I’m happy to see restaurants across the state are having the same success I am in the three years since the law went into place.”

“Good public health and good business sense are clearly working together when it comes to the smoke-free air law here in Wisconsin,” said Allison Miller, Wisconsin government relations director with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We’re thrilled Wisconsinites continue to enjoy the benefits of getting the smoke-out no matter where they work, dine or drink.”

In addition to the positive economic news, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study during the first year of the law showed significant improvement in bartenders’ health including fewer smoking-related respiratory health symptoms like, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and sore throats.

“The smoke-free law is a win-win. We’ve known all along it improves the health of Wisconsin workers and the public, but after three years it’s apparent the law is also working for business,” said Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of Health First Wisconsin, home to SmokeFree Wisconsin. “We look forward to many more years celebrating the smoke-free air law and celebrating all the benefits it will continue to bring to our state.”

A 2011 survey showed that ninety percent of Wisconsinites go out the same or more often now that restaurants and bars are smoke-free. Less than 1 percent of businesses in Wisconsin have had compliance issues with the smoke-free air law. To learn more about the smoke-free air law or to report a violation, visit


The smoke-free air law covers all indoor areas where employees or the public gather. This includes restaurants, taverns, bowling centers, private clubs, retail establishments, and all other enclosed places of employment or public places. Smoking will also be prohibited at sports arenas of all kinds, such as Lambeau Field, public swimming pools, and any other structure used for sporting events. Sports arenas must be smoke-free regardless of whether or not they fit the definition of an enclosed space.

  • Taverns
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels, Motels, Bed & Breakfasts
  • Sports arenas
  • Private clubs
  • Educational facilities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Government buildings
  • Health & medical facilities
  • Inpatient healthcare facilities
  • Common areas of multi-unit apartment buildings
  • Residence halls of college & university campuses
  • Child care centers
  • Theatres
  • State institutions
  • Public transportation
  • All other enclosed workplaces and enclosed
    places where the public are invited

1 Year Later, 75% of Wisconsinites Support the Smoke-free Air Law
Madison, Wis., June 30, 2011—The state’s smoke-free air law is more popular now than ever before, according to a new poll released Thursday. The poll, conducted by the nationally recognized polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, found 75 percent of people support or strongly support the law, up from 69 percent in 2008 when the legislature was still debating the issue.

Statewide Smoke-free Air Highlights:

·         75% of Wisconsin voters surveyed say they support the statewide smoke-free air law

·         91% say they go out the same or more often now that bars and restaurants are smoke-free

·         64% of respondents go out to bars or restaurants at least once a week

·         85% agree that secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard

·         85% believe having smoke-free bars and restaurants is important

·         78% say the law is working well

·         66% of Republicans, 74% of Democrats and 80% of Independents support the law

The full poll can be viewed at:

A video of bar owners across the state sharing their thoughts about the law can be seen at:

Study shows Statewide Law Associated with Improved Bartender Health!

The Impact of Wisconsin's Statewide Smoke-Free Law on Bartender Health and Attitudes, a study of 531 Wisconsin bartenders before and after Wisconsin enacted its statewide smoking ban, shows eight smoking-related upper respiratory health symptoms were reduced by as much as 36%. A baseline survey was conducted two months before the ban went into effect, with a follow-up survey conducted three to six months after the state law.
The study included urban and rural areas of Wisconsin and was limited to bartenders who worked in establishments that allowed smoking before the law and were smoke-free after the statewide ban.

Bar and Restaurant Air Quality Improves After Smoke-Free Law Enactment!

The report on the effects of the smoke-free law on air quality in bars and restaurants was released Dec 15, 2010. The study shows a 92% improvement in unhealthy air after the smoke-free law went into effect.
View from the report at There is data from most counties in the state. There is a table with numeric data and two sets of graphs; one with the average for the county and a second set with the minute-by-minute readings.

The data does not describe the condition of all bars and restaurants in the county but only the establishments that were tested. As part of our MJC, Winnebago, Kewaunee and Manitowoc establishments were tested.

Reported Violations* 
since July 5, 2010 through August 1, 2012

Door: 8

Kewaunee: 3

Manitowoc: 7

Sheboygan: 17

Winnebago: 29 

*Violations reported through either the hotline or website. Business that were reported mutiple times are only counted once on this list.