By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Dec 04, 2008 at 3:08 PM

The idea of an imposed city-wide smoking ban continues to be a hot topic in Milwaukee right now and while some are rooting for it and others don't think government should get involved, I'm just wondering how to deal in the meantime?

I'm a non-smoker and for some reason, probably age, I have recently started becoming a victim of the smoke-over after a night out: the sore throat, the dizzying headache, the slight nausea, the general sense of malaise.

It's not a drinking hangover; I've had my share of wicked mornings to know what does me in, and take careful measure to ensure I don't go there any more. I'm too old for that crap.

But a couple weekends ago I went out with some friends. We met at Blackbird at 9 p.m. and stayed for two beers. Around 11:30 p.m. we headed over to the Cactus Club for the dance-a-thon known as the Get Down DJ set. Although we were there until bar close (just after 2 a.m.), I only had two drinks there, most of which spilled over the edge of my small highball glass as I tried to shake it with my friends.

Four drinks in four hours gave me a buzz, but certainly should not have given me the intensely pounding day-long headache I endured the following day. It was almost definitely the thick bar room haze I inhaled all evening long.

It's infuriating. And I need a solution.

The simple answer is obvious: skip the bars all together. But let's be real; even if we're not going out every night of the week, we're bound to end up there sometimes -- election night, a friend's show, a neighborhood meeting, what have you.

And I'm not necessarily saying bars need to change for me, or people like me; all I'm looking for is preventative care. I've got the ridiculous amount of water thing down, but is there other advice from my fellow smoke-over victims?

Does a magical elixir exist or am I bound to the handful of smoke-free bars from now on?

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”