By Whitney Allen:
BELOIT (WREX) - Wisconsin is officially a smoke free state. The new ban includes all public spaces even bars and restaurants. This new law could save over 400 million dollars a year in health care cost, however local taverns fear, what this could mean for business.
Democratic Wisconsin Senator Judy Robson, 15th District says, "It's been a terrible struggle, we've been working on it for years and we've had a lot of resistance, people who didn't understand or who wanted to do their own thing."
Senator Robson celebrated the smoking ban with the Rock County Youth2Youth group who she says helped this law come to pass. Robson says, "It's due to the relentless energetic work. It shows peer pressure can work, it worked for all of them and other youth not to smoke." Youth2Youth member, Luz Renteria says, "We've been working on this for over ten years and we all have reasons to be passionate about this, but for me it was a family member."
Although everyone at this smokeless celebration event was excited about the new law, across town it's a different story. Beloit resident Christopher Roberson says, "I think it will really impact it, because when people go to the bar they go out to drink and smoke."
Roberson feels taverns will be hit hard by this ban. He adds, "In the winter time people won't want to come out and smoke. They don't want to freeze to have a cigarette. They'd rather get their liquor and drink at home."
Senator Robson says, "What we found when Madison and other places went smoke free business did go down a little bit for maybe six weeks, and then it perked back up and was much better." Before July 5th, 35 municipalities in Wisconsin had already joined the clean indoor air act. Wisconsin is the 27th state to go smoke free.