Smoking ban part of state 
budget - again

By JOE PETRIE - GM Today Staff 

February 20, 2009

WAUKESHA - At Nice Ash cigar bar in downtown Waukesha, patrons can partake in an activity thatís rare inside area businesses - smoking.




As a cigar bar, smoking is a big focus of the business. They offer a walk-in humidor full of numerous cigars that customers can buy and smoke right there in the comfort of an oversized leather chair.

However, due to some provisions in Gov. Jim Doyleís state budget, Nice Ash and similar businesses might be forced to close up shop in just a few months.

"We would have to completely change our focus. We couldnít be a cigar bar," said Joette Barta, owner of Nice Ash. "Tobacco is a legal product and in our place itís only being used by adults.

"We feel in a free market society each business should be allowed plenty of options, and down here many of the bars are smoke free already."

The smoking ban proposal is back and unlike the last time it was proposed, business owners are much more concerned itíll become a reality by the end of the year.

Doyleís 2009-11 biennial budget includes a provision to ban smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants, that would become effective 60 days after the document is approved and signed by the governor.

For full story, go to the electronic version of The Freeman. Click here to access the electronic version.  


This story appeared in The Freeman on February 20, 2009.