Local bar owners not feeling effects of smoking ban - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local bar owners not feeling effects of smoking ban

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MENOMONIE (WQOW) - Friday marks the third anniversary of the statewide smoking ban for Wisconsin bars and restaurants.

The ban's supporters can breathe a sigh of relief; according to the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and state tax data, from 2011 to 2012 sales in bars and restaurants increased by nearly four percent. That comes after a two percent increase after the ban first went into effect. Despite this, some bar owners say they have not been seeing the benefits.

Tom Morrow, owner of The Den in Menomonie says, "Go up the street here, this whole block has no smoking areas, so they're all dead, but there's a few bars in town that do have smoking areas and they're busy. It should be up to the bar owner, I think."

Morrow says he can't afford to put in a patio and says he has lost about forty percent of his business since the ban went into effect.

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