OnFocus – Sunday, July 5 is the 10th anniversary of Wisconsin’s smoke-free air law, a major milestone.
A new generation of young people are growing up with this new smoke-free social norm, which, alongside increased cigarette taxes, has made a difference. According to data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, in 2008, before the smoke-free air law passed, 20.7% of high school youth smoked cigarettes. By 2018, eight years after the smoke-free air law went into effect, that rate had dropped to 4.7%.
As great as Wisconsin’s smoke-free law is, it’s not perfect. E-cigarettes were not an issue when the law took effect, and as a result, weren’t included in the state’s smoke-free law.
Over the past few years, many Wisconsin communities have passed ordinances prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Today, over 2 million Wisconsin residents (about 36% of the state’s population) are protected from secondhand aerosol. Everyone has
the right to breathe clean air, and that includes air free from e-cigarette aerosol.
“While Wisconsin has made huge strides, there’s still much work to be done in tobacco prevention,” said Jenna Flynn, Coordinator for the Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition.
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It is never too late to quit smoking. Free help is available by calling the Wisconsin tobacco quit line at 1-800-QUIT- NOW (784-8669).
We encourage you to celebrate the smoke-free anniversary by supporting your favorite local smoke-free businesses through ordering carryout, delivery, or drive-thru where available.
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