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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Smoking ban under review

The Madison-Dane County Tavern League will be out in full force at tonight's Madison Public Health Commission meeting to protest a proposal that would force a number of bars to become smoke-free establishments. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m., in room 201 of the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 

 

 

 

The commission will debate giving its approval for the controversial measure, which would change the definition of bar to an establishment with more than 50 percent of its sales in liquor and eliminate exceptions for separately ventilated smoking areas and smoking at full service bars allowed under the 1992 ordinance. Under the previous law the cut off point was 33 percent. 

 

 

 

The difference will mean a number of establishments, including popular student hangouts such as State Street Brats, 603 State St., and the Nitty Gritty, 223 N. Frances St., would be considered restaurants and therefore subject to the city's smoke-free regulations. 

 

 

 

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Madison-Dane County Tavern League President Barb Mercer said she was regretful the commission is even considering the proposal. Mercer is also owner of the Pitchers Pub 323 W. Beltline Hwy, one of eateries which would be affected under the new regulations. 

 

 

 

\Its just so sad that they have to worry about something so trivial in a week where we have a country in mourning,"" she said. 

 

 

 

Ald. Todd Jarrell, District 8, said he debated whether to support the proposal or not for a long time before deciding to back it on grounds of protecting the workers of the establishments. A recent study found workers in the restaurant and bar industry nearly twice at risk of developing lung cancer. 

 

 

 

""The people working there have right to a smoke-free environment,"" he said. 

 

 

 

If the proposal receives the recommendation of the commission it will go before the full City Council on xxx for final approval. 

 

 

 

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