A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.
Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.
It’s been nearly five months since Wisconsin’s statewide smoking ban took effect. For me, personally, it’s been great. Some of my favorite places such as Colonel Hart’s and Leff’s and Hector’s are now, in my opinion, SO much more enjoyable.
But now that the cold weather has set in, there’s a new challenge ahead - dealing with smokers that stand right outside the doors to these establishments. For me, it’s no fun to have to walk through a haze of smoke to get in or out of a bar, restaurant or mall. That’s why I’m asking these business owners to take an extra step – set up a designated smoking area that’s NOT directly in front of their front door.
When the ban first took effect, I wrote that Illinois’ smoking ban also included stipulations about how far people must be from an establishment when smoking. I know that Wisconsin’s ban, unfortunately, doesn’t include such language, but it would be great if proprietors took the extra step of creating a smoking space away from the front door.
The other day, I read an article that mentioned that 600,000 deaths a year are attributed to secondhand smoke. Wow. To me, that’s pretty scary. I think that health warning should factor into this issue.
Look, I understand the argument that if I don’t like a place because it’s smoky, then I should just go somewhere else. OK, but wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest to make EVERY place more appealing to both non-smokers and smokers alike?