2010 Smoke-free Air Law

wisconsin smoke-free air law





Starting on July 5, 2010, all public workplaces in Wisconsin went smoke-free.  That means that all places of employment or where the public gathers ban indoor smoking. This includes restaurants, taverns, bowling centers, private clubs, retail establishments, and all other enclosed places of employment or public places.


The smoke-free air law covers all indoor areas where employees or the public gather. This includes restaurants, taverns, bowling alleys, private clubs, retail establishments, and all other enclosed places of employment or public places. Smoking will also be prohibited at sports arenas of all kinds, such as Lambeau Field, public swimming pools, and any other structure used for sporting events. Sports arenas must be smoke-free regardless of whether or not they fit the definition of an enclosed space. 



 For a complete listing of facilities and venues that are smoke-free.  




Smoking is allowed outdoors on decks or patios, as long as they are not enclosed. For decks and patios, the current definition of "enclosed" is somewhat confusing under Wisconsin’s smoke-free air law, but most people have a good understanding of indoors versus outdoors. As the definition of "enclosed" evolves, it is not advisable to jump into any building projects to construct "partially enclosed" outdoor areas, because the structure could be deemed smoke-free at a later time. The bottom line is to use common sense when it comes to where smoking is allowed, outside.


The experience in most states is that smoke-free air laws are usually self-enforcing. The majority of business owners, and the public, want to do the right thing and follow the law. If you find yourself in a situation where the person in charge of an establishment fails to take steps to eliminate smoking, you may contact local law enforcement or issue complaint by telephone or through a web site.
   •Complaint Website: www.wibettersmokefree.com
   •Complaint Hotline: 1-800-NO-SMOKE


Local law enforcement officers have the right to enforce Wisconsin’s smoke-free air law. Forfeitures for businesses that allow smoking will be $100 per day (maximum) and $100-$250 for individuals violating the law. Forfeitures are accompanied by court costs that range from $89-$163.50, depending on your location. Individuals can be fined multiple times each day, but businesses can only be fined once daily.


Check out Wisconsin’s Statewide Smoke‐Free Air LawThis is a great resource that includes definitions of the law, how its enforced and where smoking is prohibited and permitted in Wisconsin.