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Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

One more reason to oppose the smoking ban

By now, most are aware that today is the start of Wisconsin’s infringement on individual private property rights, also known as the statewide smoking ban. Confusion reigns about what the new law entails. But by golly, we finally got our ban and I don’t have to smell someone else’s tobacco when I go out to eat.

Let’s be clear. I don’t smoke. Never have. I don’t particularly like the smell of smoke. Don’t like it seeping into my nice clothes. Though legal, smoking, in my view, is unhealthy and downright stupid. Even so, I don’t support the smoking ban for many reasons I’ve outlined in previous blogs.

Here’s another. I’ve read the law and am fully aware of its specifics. Smoking is now off limits in many areas including veteran’s homes in Wisconsin.

Think about it. A soldier that had an arm or leg or more blown off while fighting for our country, now sitting in a wheelchair or lying in a bed in a veteran’s home is no longer allowed the simple pleasure of lighting a cigarette.

Meanwhile, Potawatomi and other casinos that helped bankroll Governor Doyle’s campaigns to the tune of millions were conveniently left exempt. Despite the fact casinos rest on tribal grounds, the Governor’s office has historically negotiated provisions of gaming compacts. I’m pretty sure the Doyle administration never intended to even suggest smoking be restricted at the casinos he owed mighty big favors.

One of the arguments made by proponents of the ban was that individuals shouldn’t have to work in unhealthy environments. Apparently the health of casino employees isn’t nearly as important as workers in other occupations and settings.

But the veteran’s home inclusion is upsetting. Telling a disabled veteran he/she can’t smoke a cigarette is even more disgusting than the smoke the ban supporters hate so much.

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