While there have been plenty of chicken littles complaining about a smoking ban, the reality is that the passage of the smoking ban will help hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from respiratory illnesses and far more people from developing health problems.
But who would have thought just 5 years ago that an overwhelmingly large bipartisan group of legislators would have come together to pass a smoking ban in workplaces including bars and restaurants by 2010.
Having just returned from a trip to Ireland, I can share that their smoking ban has not had any ill effects on the volume of people bellying up to the bar. At first, there was resistance to the idea just as there has been here, but the Irish have adapted to not going home from a night at the pubs smelling like an ash tray.
It will be a crisis and people will stop going to taverns, especially in Northern Wisconsin, detractors to the newly passed bill have said. Why then are Irish pubs still packed?
While I don't go out to bars as much as I have a decade or so ago, I can tell you one of the things that keeps me away -- the smoke. I know that if I go out to most bars that I will come home smelling like a cigarette and suffering from red eyes and burning lungs. I don't say this because of some sort of random guess -- this is what I experience nearly every time I go out. I will even avoid going out to several bars past an 6pm because I know they'll be smoky and unbearable.
In Ireland, I could go into a pub with my son and not worry that it will trigger an asthma attack. I can go into a pub with my wife and not worry about how the smoke will trigger a coughing fit from all of the smoke.
So is this ban good? You bet it is. Not only for pubic health, but this ban is good for business.