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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, July 03, 2022

Bar owners fail to convince city of smoking ban's faults

Madison Fire Chief Debra Amesqua and Fire Marshall Ed Ruckriegal dismissed any plans bar owners may have had to skirt around the July 1 smoking ban at the Smoking Ban Implementation Meeting Wednesday night. 

 

 

 

Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said various bar owners in downtown Madison have approached him with ways in which they might be able to compromise with the smoking ban ordinance that will require patrons to go outside in order to smoke. 

 

 

 

\Bar owners have asked if they could erect tents, construct gazebos or place space heaters outside in order to accommodate their smoking customers,"" Verveer said. ""But the two Madison firefighters said that under the international fire code, which is Madison's official fire code, some of these ideas are illegal."" 

 

 

 

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Verveer added some space heaters would be acceptable, but smoking in tents or under a canopy would not be permitted because of the fire hazard the fabric creates. 

 

 

 

Under the ordinance that will go into effect on July 1, smoking will be banned in all indoor structures. However, smoking in outdoor structures such as screen porches or gazebos is permissible.  

 

 

 

""I personally would like to have a cigarette when I'm in the bar,"" UW-Madison junior Wes Schmidt said. ""If you make the choice to go to the bar, deal with the smokers."" 

 

 

 

Ruckriegal also addressed the issue of crowd control when smokers leave the premises and there are patrons waiting in line to get in.  

 

 

 

Ruckriegal said taverns may not exceed their capacity limits and if one person leaves to smoke and another is let into the bar in their place, the smoker will have to wait in line to re-enter the premises. 

 

 

 

""I'm not a big smoker,"" Schmidt said. ""But if I have to stand outside in the cold and wait in line to get back in, I would go to the bar that is more accommodating."" 

 

 

 

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