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Posted on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:40 p.m.

Michigan's smoking ban approved by Senate, House

By Nathan Bomey

The Michigan Senate and House today passed a bill that would ban smoking in all bars and restaurants but exempt casinos and cigar bars. The ban's final approval is now imminent, leading to an uneven reaction among Ann Arbor's dining community and activists on the issue.


Washtenaw County
Non-smoking Restaurants

Seventy percent of Washtenaw County's restaurants are smoke-free, according the county's Environmental Health department.

For a list of those restaurants, click here.

The Senate's 24-13 approval of the bill, followed by the House's 75-30 vote, marks the culmination of a passionate debate among restaurant owners, health activists and various community members. The bill exempts casinos and cigar bars from the ban, although smoking in casino restaurants reportedly would also be banned.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signaled her support for a ban, which would take effect in May.

Michigan joins 37 states that have already enacted similar bans.

Judy Stewart, spokeswoman for the Campaign for Smokefree Air and director of state government relations for the Great Lakes Division of the American Cancer Society, said she was “over-the-moon excited.” She said workers at restaurants and bars where smoking is allowed are 50 percent more likely to develop lung cancer.

“The majority of Michigan workers will have a smoke-free work environment, and there will be less cases of cancer, asthma, heart disease, the list goes on and on,” Stewart said. “Second-hand smoke is a real killer and a real disease cause in our state, so this is huge.”

Andy Deloney, a spokesman for the Michigan Restaurant Association, which lobbied against the ban, criticized state lawmakers for “telling us this is what is good for you.”

“It does nothing to help the state of Michigan,” he said.

Deloney said businesses would suffer.

“We’re greatly disappointed,” he said. “Michigan leads the nation in unemployment, we’re last in the nation in things like income growth. We’ve got about as bad of a business climate as you can have in the country. The actions of the House and the Senate today add more burdens and mandates and restrictions on the backs of business owners.”

But health activists praised the move, calling it long overdue and a major boost to the health of restaurant workers and patrons.

“For all intents and purposes it’s the single greatest thing we can do to improve the health of Michigan residents,” said Sharon Sheldon, Washtenaw County’s program manager for health promotion and disease management.

Sheldon rejected the suggestion that the state’s economy would suffer a blow due to the ban’s approval.

“It hasn’t hurt restaurants in any other place where this has been done,” she said. “I don’t see how anyone can say Michigan is somehow unique in some way.”

A poll conducted in March by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA found that 66 percent of Michigan residents supported the ban. Some 52 percent said they “strongly” favored it.

Restaurants in Ann Arbor greeted the news with a mixed reaction.

Fleetwood Diner’s Lilly Dmiri said the 24-hour establishment relies heavily on customers who eat there particularly because smoking is allowed.

“I think it’s going to have a impact,” she said. “For me I’m the only one here pretty much who doesn’t smoke.”

Gary Wheelock, manager of downtown restaurant Arbor Brewing Company, said sales dipped briefly after the restaurant disallowed smoking Aug. 5.

“Still, it came right back to where it was before,” he said. “Eventually they just decided to come back and hang out here, because they like our beer and they like our servers. I don’t think there's a lot of negative effect from it.”

Wheelock praised the Senate’s move and said the ban would benefit the state.

“I completely see it as a positive thing,” he said. “It’s a healthier environment for our servers, everyone at a restaurant, to work in. It discourages people from smoking, which is a very destructive behavior. When you smoke, everyone around you smokes.”

State Rep. Pam Byrnes, D-Lyndon Township, the speaker pro tempore, hailed the ban's approval

"This plan makes Michigan nearly 100 percent smoke free and helps us move toward being healthier communities and a stronger state," she said in a statement. "I applaud my colleagues in the Legislature for putting partisan politics aside and scoring a major win for Michigan residents today."

Contact’s Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter.



Wed, May 26, 2010 : 5:24 p.m.

This is to those of you that think this is dumb because you are a smoker and think that us non-smokers are taking over your rights. I have asthma and my entire life have had to be careful of where I was going to eat because I can DIE from the cigarette smoke. yes it also causes cancer and is disgusting. But seriously don't you think that I should have a right to go into any restaurant without the fear of dying from smoke? I totally agree that restaurants should be able to make the decision to open their businesses up to smokers. But I also agree that there needs to be a law preventing smokers from taking over. honestly I feel that outdoors and NO WHERE NEAR an entrance should be allowed, that way you can smoke and non-smokers can stay non-smokers. Everywhere I go I am inhaling second hand smoke, which is not only dangerous for everyone, but can literally kill me. I know, what does this person know there are ways to prevent asthma attacks. True, but I have already almost died before because my father was a smoker, and none of the medicine worked and I had to be in the hospital for a month. So I know that cancer is a concern for a lot, but I worry more about not being able to go out because smokers are taking over everywhere.


Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 4:01 p.m.

A restaurant/bar owner should be able to decide if he/she wants smoking or nonsmoking in their facility,not the government, good thing I still got my smoke free Grizzly wintergreen,you gonna try and ban that from the public too you Nazis?

Jake Henderson

Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 6:20 p.m.

These smoking bans are ridiculous!!! If people don't like smoke go somewhere else, that easy!!! Now were going to have to switch to those new Crown7 electric cigarettes to get by these bans! Oh how fun!!!

Jake Henderson

Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 3:49 p.m.

With this ban going into effect looks like im going to have to switch to those new Crown7 electric cigarettes I keep seeing around...


Tue, Apr 13, 2010 : 12:34 p.m.

I would just like to say that I am a smoker and am not proud of it. I can't think of anyone who smokes, at least a sane one that would say, "I'm glad I took up smoking!" I am personally glad they did away with smoking, I wish they would make it a law to abolish it all together at least that way I would HAVE TO QUIT because thus far I've found no easy way to quit but I'm sure that if it were against the law, sure it would be very difficult, but at least I know I would be on my way to a healthier happier me. I'm not against it at all. Please give me a real motivator and I'll back it 100%. They should have never introduced those demon sticks into our society to begin with then we wouldn't be arguing about it and having us pick up the tab on something that should have never existed!

deborah felton

Tue, Feb 23, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

I was born and raised in MI, lived the first 40 years of my life there. It will always be home, but when I return there from Ohio (we have a GREAT indoor smoking ban) I cannot take my mom to resturants because they reek of smoke-it is so nasty. I am thrilled that MI residents are taking control of their health and the air they breathe-smoking is a low class behavior, sorry, but it is true. It is an addiction, I grew up in a family of 5 smokers-ugh! Two are dead and one is on oxygen! when I come to MI in July for a family reunion we can now go out to dinner! thank youMI voters and legislators!


Thu, Feb 18, 2010 : 2:46 a.m.

Once again, the morons speak loudest and get their way. Do you people even realize what you are cheering for?? First off, since you seem to value the opinions of non-smokers more...I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. Now that that's out of the way, I have to say how disappointed I am in our (us...humans) inability to just leave each other alone. It's the American way...I know...butt into other people's lives and tell them the "right" way to do it. This is DEFINITELY a property owners rights issue and a BUSINESS OWNER'S rights issue. (and @ the snow shoveling argument...I disagree with that law as well.) So you are now telling me that I can not own a business that allows people to engage in an otherwise LEGAL activity in my facility. EVEN if I: 1. have all employees sign a waiver 2. kindly find alternate employment for those employees who are bothered by smoke 3. Post signs on the doors that says "Smoking facility" so that everyone knows what's inside; I can't have a smoker's bar and grille? Does that not seem completely insane to anyone? I am just totally shocked at the lack of...well..."shock" at the slow painful torture of our "free market." So since using metaphors seems to be all the rage around here, lets think of it like this: We should ban professional football, fishing, mining...heck any job where there are health hazards because people should not get jobs that have any dangers. BAN! (workers rights to be cuddled and kept safe and warm argument) We should go into people's businesses and tell them that there is a new law which bans wearing denim, or using the word "dog," or sweeping the floor and tell them that if they allow people to do it within their business, there will be a fine. (passing a law to ban OTHERWISE LEGAL activities when performed within certain business).


Wed, Feb 10, 2010 : 10:20 a.m.

The real reason for this ban is because some restaurant owners had no guts and were afraid to ban smoking on their own for fear that smokers would go to the place next door that allowed smoking.Now they revel in this ban because there is no choice and they don't look like the bad guy.Should be if workers signed documents that said they dont care about smoke and signs were posted outside saying smoking inside with a warning like on a cigarette pack that should be enough and people could CHOOSE what they want.This is a democracy(at least it used to be)after all.


Sat, Jan 16, 2010 : 1:56 p.m.

My husband and I were smokers for over 30 years. Yes, it's your right to do what you want..up to a point. But your right to swing your fist stops at my nose! Tobacco smoke doesn't know it's supposed to stay inside the 'smoking' section. And only a fool would say that smoking is healthy for you. Some establishments which went '100% nonsmoking' lost business slightly to begin with; shortly afterward, though, they met then exceeded old revenues, because now they have a larger pool of customers. Nonsmokers and smokers alike can enjoy an evening of pool, bowling, dining (we didn't smoke in restaurants even when we were smokers), skating..whatever, without worrying about their health, not to mention having hair and clothing wreak of stale tobacco..YUK! And restaurant owners just getting into the business won't need to worry about lawsuits brought on by nonsmoking employees--and believe me, there will be THOUSANDS of those suits. For those of you who wish to continue smoking, that's your business. But I hope you'll care enough about your children not to smoke inside your home or car when they are present. Because if you smoke in front of them, you're practically guaranteeing your children will develop asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or some other form of COPD, or even cancer. I don't know ONE person who smokes who doesn't wish he/she didn't. Most of the time it's because we are creatures of habit. But the physical addiction leaves us within two weeks after quitting. It's the psychological addiction that's so hard to break away from. Because all of us who smoked and quit had to accept one fact: If most of our friends are smokers and we quit smoking, we are probably going to lose some of our friends when we tell them they can't smoke inside our house or in our car. Here's another thing to think about, though: If that's the only thing you have in common with them, how good a friend are they? I know you can do it. I used a pencil and carried it around with me everywhere..for over a year. Every time I wanted to smoke a cigarette, I put that pencil in my mouth. I put it in my hands when I made a phone call, had a cup of coffee, etc. It's really much easier to quit than you think. And by the way, we're not prudes. We drink, dance, play cards, go to the casino, and go to "R" rated movies. We just have healthier lungs now, and we make it a point to frequent the casino in Windsor, Ontario, because it's a provincial law, and the entire casino is nonsmoking. Good luck to all of you who can now use this law to help you quit.


Sat, Jan 2, 2010 : 9:48 p.m.

HOORAY! We are so excited about this law and have been waiting year after year to no avail. I found the comments to this article interesting. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though, even though I'm chuckling. Addiction is an all powerful thing that blinds those who are ensnared by it. Bottom line is, I'm glad the minors who work in restaurants (your kids, my kids) won't have to put up with the very annoying and VERY unhealthy environment. I suppose the smokers will need to have their ciggs at home, or in their cars. Now we can enjoy our dinners out in peace. I found the smokey environments at Creekside, Connor's and Knights Inn so bad that I avoided them. Can't wait to go back!

Silver Fang

Tue, Dec 22, 2009 : 12:47 p.m.

A smoking ban is another vestige of the nanny state that has been metastasizing in our culture for the past 40 years. What will be next? Will they criminalize smoking in our vehicles, walking down the sidewalk, or even in our own homes?


Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 7:50 p.m.

This is great! For a long time now I've felt that 20% of the population has been holding the other 80% hostage. I have no problem with people wanting to smoke on their own time, but forcing the rest of us to share your carcinogenic past time is wrong. Finally I can go out to eat or drink and not have to worry about the air I'm breathing.

Bob Johnson

Wed, Dec 16, 2009 : 8:24 a.m.

Those who cannot, or will not enter a neighborhood bar will now be able to freely mingle with the patrons. Since thay are on a PUBLIC street, the bar owner has no control over their actions. The panhandlers, holy rollers, and many others welcome the ban.


Tue, Dec 15, 2009 : 3:58 p.m.

I really don't care about smoking in restaurants, as they have a "smoking" and "non-smoking" section, what really bothers me is the smoke in bars where it's like walking into a haze. I love to go out to bars, but don't do so as often as I would like especially on busy nights because the smoke makes me sick. I say smokers can take it outside, and for them I hope restaurants and bars will try to accommodate them with heaters and seating as best they can.

Emma B

Mon, Dec 14, 2009 : 9:01 p.m.

As an asthmatic person who is sensitive to not only cigarette smoke, but also perfumes/colognes as someone above mentioned, I'm just glad that I have one less trigger to deal with. But I do understand that it is, in some respects, my responsibility to avoid my own triggers. When I was in middle school peanut butter was banned because there was a kid who would (apparently) go into anaphylactic shock if he could even smell the peanuts. As a peanut butter lover that was quite annoying so I am capable of sympathizing with smokers a little, but not much. I'm also not afraid that the government will put an all-out ban on the public consumption of peanut butter just because some of the population is gravely affected by it. But then again, I still have that wee bit of faith left in our system.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 7:09 p.m.

I find it interesting to read the part about banning smoking during a recession. I have thought for awhile that there really is no better time to ban smoking, if you mainly look at the health impact of smoking on restaurant employees. When the economy is good, you may be able to justify "well, they CHOSE to work in a restaurant, suffer the consequences" but during a recession that is not such an easy thing to say, there are a lot of people working in restaurants because there are no other jobs. I've also noticed an enormous gap in the behaviors of individual smokers, based on age. I grew up doing plays in a multi-generational theatre company where many actors and technicians smoked. The building was not smoke free except for the dressing rooms and the auditorium on show nights. But my observation was this: smokers under 35 were very courteous, they would always ask, even in a room filled with smoke, "do you care if I smoke by you?" Those over 35 never asked, they saw it as their God-given right to poison the air in front of their children and grandchildren, and leave plenty of room for fire hazards as well. (Smoking while ironing a costume....not so good.) So now I just believe that once all the older smokers die of lung cancer, this smoking in restaurants ban will no longer be a big deal because young smokers, for the most part, are already used to to smoking bans and used to being polite about their smoking habits. I do wonder about the future of the Fleetwood, it's an Ann Arbor institution, and the food really isn't any healthier than smoking, so maybe there is no loss in allowing smoking to continue there. I like to think I'm egalitarian, but maybe I'm not.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 2:14 p.m.

"in most states I have been to that have banned smoking, they at least allow smokers a place to go outside and puff away... away from those who don't want to be affected by the smoke" Matt, that's not now a Nanny State works.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 11:03 a.m.

This is the best news I've heard in ages...I stopped going out to bars after a certain hour as the smoke was so disgusting, I'd be coughing for days afterwards. I made the effort and quit smoking 12 years ago, but when I did I never smoked inside my own home, or inside in general...could never stand the smell, mess. I'll be going out much more often now that the air won't be poisoned/unbreathable.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 10:05 a.m.

David Bardallis, You wrote a more thoughtful letter than most of the pro-smokers. What I find strange is that you would weigh property rights more heavily than liberty and pursuit of happiness. Your comment is strongly biased by focusing on smell but ignoring totally the obvious medical issues. Few restaurant employees have the freedom to turn that job in a smoking establishment, and their future health is placed in deeper jeopardy. Pretending that non-smoking areas or rooms really work is absurd. Conar O'Neill's and Knight's stand out among local institutions that will benefit greatly from the new state law. Hooray!


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 9:17 a.m.

I do find it very interesting that it is government unfairly taking away your rights when it comes to smoking, but it doesn't seem to be an issue that they can monitor you without due cause via the patriot act, they can tell you when you can and cant have abortions, they ticket you for speeding all under the guise of public safety. It must be really nice to be able to pick and chose when you feel like the mean government is harming you.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 9:01 a.m.

Not that I actually read the legislation, but I hear that a cigar bar is one that gains 10% of its revenue by cigar sales. I don't think Bab's will qualify. I also heard that no new cigar bars will be allowed to open. That does sound odd, though. At any rate, it seems we are now being ruled by 8 year olds.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 5:34 a.m.

While this has been disguised as a "worker's rights" issue, recent efforts by this particular lobbying group in other areas have proven this not to be the case. Currently in Indianapolis, the group is pushing for a ban on the new "E-Cigarettes" in indoor public areas. These "E-Cigarettes" produce vapor and have no harmful affects to indoor air(in fact, the exhaled vapor eliminated small traces of airborne swine flu in tests). There is clearly some other type of motivation behind these smoking bans, and I believe everyone should research a bit before blindly going along with the masses.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 4:18 a.m.

And I will also let you know that I know many people in the restaurant and server business who are also non-smokers. And the majority of them have mixed feelings, at best, about this decision. So take it from the bottom up, which seems to me to be in direct opposition to the 'official' statistics, it is not such a clear-cut situation. There are many who see it as a direct intrusion upon their private lives and choices. If I go to a fancy restaurant and they demand I wear a suit & tie, and even offer me one, I still have the choice of not going there, rather than demanding that they accept my jeans & check taylor gym shoes because I think it is better and healthier for society as a whole. These arguments aren't apples & oranges, people. It is a matter of what right do you have to marginalize the segment of the population that smokes? think about it.


Sat, Dec 12, 2009 : 4:09 a.m.

All of you who complain about not being able to patronize certain places because you don't want to have to 'fumigate' your clothing should first understand that you do not HAVE to patronize that establishment. Maybe, just MAYBE it exists for someone other than YOU. There are many establishments that I do not patronize because they do not suit my tastes or habits. I do not try to force them to adhere to my dictates. I find my own space and environment to exist in. But now you seem to see fit in forcing your ideas upon me and denying me my sanctuary. My sanctuary from the dictates of your tastes, which to me smack of making things a bit more homogenous, one step closer to your own ideology. I stand in stark contrast to that idea. We have these places, because we need someplace to go to be who we are. The health issue is a sham.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 8:23 p.m.

The more I research this topic, the more and more I dislike what "the powers that be" and trying to do. Here is a nice excerpt from the grassroots handbook for the lobbying firm "American's For Nonsmokers Rights". ""Tobacco control advocates should work from the inside out. Prior to addressing outdoor restrictions, communities should first have effective smokefree laws for indoor environments. Because people are exposed to higher levels of secondhand smoke in indoor settings than in outdoor ones, it makes sense from a public health perspective to protect nonsmokers indoors before seeking outdoor air laws. There is emerging science on the health hazards of outdoor exposure to secondhand smoke, and as more scientific evidence becomes available, we may see increased support for outdoor smoking restrictions on the basis that they are necessary to protect public health."" I suggest that everyone read this, and here is the link.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 8:10 p.m.

I can not believe most of these comments. People are actually happy that the government is regulating a legal right. I do not like loud music, which could harm my hearing, so I do not go to them. MY choice. This is unbelievable, wait til they ban cigarettes and raise every tax to make up for the loss. This is or was the United States of America where independant business owners used to have a say how their business was run.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 7:28 p.m.

hmmm... email from the powers that be: > > One of your comments posted this > morning was inadvertently unpublished; it did not violate > our guidelines and has been republished to the site. > ok, i accept. tnx,sob


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 6:14 p.m.

To ALL PEOPLE who support this ban: I will make sure I am outside your favorite establishment by the doors blowing my smoke in your face as you go in and out. If you are so supportive of this ban move to California with all the tree huggers, where they have about everything banned. This is unconstitutional!! An owner of a business or establishment has the ability to choose whether or not they allow smoking. This seems to me to be segregation. We weren't allowed to segregate whites and blacks, but we can segregate smokers and non-smokers? There are plenty of non-smoking businesses go to them if you are so against smoking. As far as the servers and employees of smoking restaurants, they have a choice on what they do to make money and where they work. If they are against working in a smoking restaurant then they can work at one that's non-smoking. This was the LAND OF THE FREE now it is becoming the LAND OF THE BANNED!!!!

Matt Kaz

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 4:30 p.m.

From what I understand, this also bans smoking on outside patios of restaurants and bars, too... in most states I have been to that have banned smoking, they at least allow smokers a place to go outside and puff away... away from those who don't want to be affected by the smoke. So will this not be possible in Michigan because of the new law? If so, I don't think it's very fair to the smokers... they should be given their space, too.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 3:18 p.m.

Macabre- Nobody is putting a gun to your head and forcing you into these smoking establishments. Therefore, any concern to your health by second hand smoke (or dirty needles) is YOUR fault. The argument that this law makes sense because second hand smoke is dangerous is irrational. Nobody is forcing you to breathe it in. Just as much as I DON'T want smoke around me, there are plenty of people who DO enjoy smoking. They all know it's unhealthy, that's their choice to partake. It is not my place to tell them what to do with their lives.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 3:14 p.m.

I think many existing establishments will informally survey their patrons, or otherwise figure-out how much of their business comes from smokers, and then make a decision about becoming a non-smoking public bar, or a private club/cigar bar where smoking is allowed. Personally, the thought of broods of health-nut breeders with their annoying rug-rats in tow, cluttering-up my favorite watering holes, is almost more than I can bear... someone light a cigar - quick!


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 3:10 p.m.

Yes!! Now people will be smoking out on the sidewalks, and we can subject them to public shame and ridicule!


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 2:54 p.m.

There is really not much to argue about on this topic. Basically if you don't like the smoke then dont go in, it's you're choice if you want to go into that business or not. This law is about as bad as someone telling you that you can't wear cologne or perfume in places because some people are allergic to it. Really, if you dont like the food in a restaurant then simply don't eat there and choose one that you like. It's the same principal.

Barbie Bell

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 2:14 p.m.

YAY! finally! when does it take effect?

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 2:01 p.m.

TFF, then why isn't cocaine legal? Alcohol is dangerous only when used to excess. There is no serious second-hand whiskey-breath issue. If someone wants to kill himself with drugs, I'm not inclined to stop him. But I equate seeing someone smoking in a restaurant or bar to seeing him shooting up with cocaine and leaving the needle lying around. The laws should be consistent. Either drugs that serve no medicinal purpose are legal, controlled, or illegal.

News Watcher

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 1:48 p.m.

Good! There are a couple of restaurants where we live that supposedly have good food, but we've never eaten there because the cigarette smoke makes us gag and causes our eyes to tear, not to mention triggers our sons' asthma. Of course, it'll probably take a few years for the smell to be gone, but it's a start!


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 1:41 p.m.

Macabre Sunset- There are a lot of laws for substance abuse, yet we still see the epidemic of today regarding the 'war on drugs.' Underage smoking is already illegal, it still happens. Underage drinking is illegal, it still happens. Alcohol used to be banned, it still happened and created some of the most violent crime our nation has seen until it was legalized again. The notion that simply passing laws will solve our problems is an ignorant thought. Sounds great on paper, doesn't work in reality. Come back down to earth and approach this situation again.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 1:17 p.m.

could someone tell me why are casinos exempt is it a Indian ( or to be PC Native American) thing?


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 1:03 p.m.

Yay! Now I finally go to Old Town with my husband again! It's my favorite bar in town but he won't go because of the smoke situation. And I do have to agree with him, it's no fun smelling like an ash tray.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 12:35 p.m.

Experts are looking at the eating problem. There's some evidence that trans-fats are harmful. Some places are banning those. Mostly, being fat is simply over-eating. Meanwhile, a cigarette is a drug-delivery device that if, used according to the instructions, often causes serious harm not only to the drug user, but the people around him or her. Including children. Lighting up around children is child abuse. They can't choose whether to grow up in a drug-free home. Sometimes the state has too many laws. This is one area where it can't have enough. We need to ban smoking entirely. People need to find a way to stop their drug use. Keeping these drugs out of restaurants and bars is just a start.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 11:44 a.m.

I think the fact that the casinos were excepted from the legislation tells us all we need to know about who greased the pol's palms, and what a canard the whole idea of "workplace safety" was from the getgo. If they were smart about it (about, talking about politicians so grain of salt added), they would have implemented the ban but allowed establishments to purchase a 'smokers permit' to allow tobacco usage in their respective establishments. Win-win; State gets money, owners have a choice


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 11:37 a.m.

The real tragedy here is not that smokers will have to go outside but that the people who stayed away from places because of smoke will now come out. Those will be some really good customers: "Oh yay! I can bring my screaming baby to the bar now and make a huge mess and leave a really crappy tip!" Or "wow I'll go out and order one lousy drink and take 2 hours to drink it and take up space that would have generated 4 times more revenue from a smoker but at least I don't have to Wash My Hair afterward now!" Yeah, we'll be seeing alot more of those people. Thank god there will still be cigar bars.

Atticus F.

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 11:35 a.m.

I see this ban a bigotry. The only difference is the people who are being targeted, are an unpopular, unhealthy group of people that stink like smoke...I guess that makes it acceptable.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 11:20 a.m.

Done deal... Get over it and go outside to smoke


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 11:19 a.m.

As a former redneck bar owner I say you are wrong to do this! My clients mostly smoked and those who did not did not compalain. they made there choices as did the smokers. CHOICE that is what we are suppose to have as americans.We allow dope addicts methadone even when they are pregnant but we do not allow legal smoke addicts at a bar or restaurant? The government needs to get out of our private business. Seatbelts to protect ourselves. Helmets to protect ourselves. BS to protect the insurance industry who is RICH and complaining about paying these costs for smokers. Insurance companies run the government not the americans who pay out the butt to live here!


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 11:03 a.m.

Haha! The outrage is cracking me up. I'm not sure I've ever witnessed so much fear-mongering and hyperbole. Comparing second-hand smoke to screaming babies? Jackboots and facists? Really?


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:50 a.m.

JakeC, you are referencing the Declaration of Independence, which unfortunately, doesn't get any consideration in constiutional law. I do think there are some liberty infringements on the owners of these establishments.

Atticus F.

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:49 a.m.

Here's a link to the jobs with the highest fatality rates...Maybe we should petition the government to ban all of these industries. If your true concern is in fact the saftey of the worker, and not to impose your will on others.

Atticus F.

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:40 a.m.

@ jakec, Under your logic, we should ban People from working as fire fighters, police officers, electricians, fishermen, lumberjacks, ect.... After all, those jobs also have risk involved, and can be considered dangerous.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:35 a.m.

What about perfume and body spray bans while were at it! Offensive, harmful to health, terrible to sit next to in a restaurant or bar.......Wear your seatbelt, return your cans, put a helmet on.....Are you sure you want your government involved in all these simple common sense issues?

Jake C

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:32 a.m.

Angil Tarach: "Smokers pay $1 billion in tax revenue to Michigan but now will have no place to smoke!". Except for their homes, their cars, outdoors, cigar bars, casinos, and private clubs, which is to say "Smokers will still have plenty of places they can enjoy their cigarettes.". But as has been said before, this is a workplace safety issue, and something that the majority of Michigan residents support. The government wasn't "taking away your rights" when it prohibited the use of Asbestos for insulation, or enacted anti-racial-discrimination laws in Housing and the workplaces, or when it prevents people from building a residence that doesn't meet building safety codes. Please show me in the Bill of Rights where it lays out the Rights to Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and Smoking in Bars.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:23 a.m.

or, maybe it is.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:23 a.m.

I would think the people in this town (especially) would be outraged at the thought of having some corrupt politician smash their rights with some pseudo morality shoved down their throats. Well if thats the road were going down then Id like to add a few things. YOU WITH THE SCREAMING BABY!! Please keep your child outside. I should not have to have my evening on the town ruined by your screaming brat. (Its causing me stress and raising my blood pressure). YOU WITH THE CHEAP PERFUME!!! Your making my eyes water!! Please stay home when youre wearing it so we all dont have to come home from a night out smelling like a Jr. High locker room. Is this really were we want to go!? Do we really want to limit our rights so someone can go into there local bar to get drunk while wolfing down 3000 calorie Hot Wings and not have to smell smoke!? This town disappoints me.

Atticus F.

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:21 a.m.

You have no buisness to walk into a smoking establishment, and then demand that everybody there put their cigarettes out in order to please you. Here's an idea, instead of walking into a place that allows smoking, and then asking people to put out their smokes, why dont you simply find another place to go that doesn't allow smoking? leave those people in peace to make their own choices.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:13 a.m.

hey! where did my post go about UNHEALTHY-pointed laws? now that one unhealthy anti-free-choice, anti-free-market dictate has been foisted on us, the next UNHEALTHY-pointed law *has* to be reducing hte body mass index of our citizenry. with all the squabble over the fat-cats ruining the country, where is the consumer/consumption protection for the related excessive medical costs? anti-UNHEALTHY laws should be good for us, eh? oh, wait, it;s not your ox that is getting gored.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:12 a.m.

Spaceman, treetowncartel- Right on. Due- Perhaps you've forgotten what party Granholm is affiliated with, and all the wonderful things she has done for our state since she's been in office. I'm still waiting to be "blown away." Nobody is forcing your kids to go to an establishment that allows smoking, so they have no room to gripe. They went there on their own accord, knowing there would be smoke, knowing it was harmful to them, and knowing it smells bad. And for some reason they feel the entitlement to blame the State, or the business, because of that? Ridiculous!


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 10:11 a.m.

Another victory for those who do not understand the constitution. The government does not have the right to tell its citizens what they can and cannot do with their private property. Furthermore, such a law is not needed. No one is forced to eat, or work, in an establishment which allows smoking. Vote with your feet - that is how a free market works. For all of you in favor of this fascist law - just wait till the jack-boots come down on your necks.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 9:58 a.m.

It's about time, when our kids come home from New York or Chicago they think it's a joke that Michigan still allows smoking in businesses. They can't stand the smell on their clothes. Michigan is so far behind the times, thank you Repiblican Party.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 9:28 a.m.

Since there will no longer be any health problems related to second hand smoke we might as well abolish the taxes on cigarettes since their justification for being in place is to pay for those health care related costs.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 9:15 a.m.

Clearly a majority of people dislike, even detest, tobacco smoke. There is little debate that tobacco smoke is harmful, even smaller amounts of second hand smoke. But this state ban continues a societal trend that ultimately is more harmful than smelling second hand smoke: the sacrifice of our freedom and personal responsibility at the altar of government/collective oversight of all life. What's next?


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 8:54 a.m.

I'm a non smoker and think this legislature is crap. Since when can the State decide what type of clientele a business owner wants to attract? There are already plenty of bars and resturaunts who are smoke free or have smoke free nights to attract the non smokers. If it was in their best interest to be smoke free, they would all be smoke free. Those who choose to allow smoking must be doing it for a reason. Nobody is forcing you to go to a bar that allows smoking, so this whole 'right to breathe clean air' argument is bunk. It is not the governments job (or responsibility) to dictate to a business owner what type of customers to have at their establishment. This is just another small step that the nanny state is taking to tell us how to live our lives. Inch by inch, they will continue.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 8:41 a.m.

The smoking ban has not hurt Chicago and NYC. This is a step in the right direction for Michigan.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 8:20 a.m.

i have no problem with those who do not want to be around smokers but there should be places for those who do- what is a right? the majority rules period the non-smokers against the smokers who will be next no more buffet resturants because you are eating yourself to death or no more clubs because you are drinking your self to death no more phones because you are texting your self to death who is next?


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 8:12 a.m.

It is about time.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 7:40 a.m.

That Andy Deloney guy doesn't know what he is talking about. Its so nice to go out to a night club or restaurant and not have to wash your hair when you get home at midnight! Its about time Michigan got with the program. Ohio, for petes sake has a smoking ban. We can at least do as much! The dirty smokers can go outside to smoke!


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 7:15 a.m.

@ Rizzle, I believe that smoking & drinking should be banned in ALL family establishments. I am a smoker & a drinker.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 7:13 a.m.

YIPPIE......Its about time the right wing Republican freedom of choice people who run everything do....oops sorry wrong party.Gotta go I need a smoke

Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCM

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 7:04 a.m.

Smokers in Michigan currently pay approximately 1 Billion dollars to the State of Michigan a year in cigarette and other tobacco products tax. Funny how smokers contribute this much to the tax fund but will have no place to smoke. I am sure many will quit because of the new law, so where will the replacement taxes come from? The state is already in a financial crisis, and you can believe this tax will be replaced by another. Many restaurants and bars have already moved to a smoke free establishment, and some have not. The current status of bars and restaurants allows us all to have a choice, as it should be. If you are a nonsmoker, go to a nonsmoking establishment. If you smoke, go to a smoking establishment. As American citizens, we have a right to choice. As the government limits or removes each choice we lose more and more freedom. Since there are more Americans dying of obesity than smoking, will the next thing be to limit people over a certain weight to order fast food or snacks? Whether you agree with this ruling or not, you have to think about how much we allow the government to control our choices and the choices of small business.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 2:38 a.m.

People will be healthier because of this policy. Good decision.


Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 12:53 a.m.

Let's ban taking more than 30 breaths per minute in public places because the co2 that we exhale is dangerous to the environment.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 11, 2009 : 12:51 a.m.

At least this will open up nightlife options for the 80% of us who choose not to partake in the deadliest, most addictive drug habit known to mankind. Smokers should be thankful their drug-delivery devices are still legal. The rest of us don't want to see it. We don't want to smell it. We don't want forced into our lungs. We don't want to pay your medical bills. We don't want to see your children suffer in school because their little brains aren't getting the oxygen other children receive. Nanny state, schmanny state. Nicotine is an incredibly powerful, addictive and harmful drug. It should be banned entirely, as is cocaine and heroin.

Thick Candy Shell

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 10:46 p.m.

@Charley Sullivan.... Actually, you can not restrict nudity if it is part of a breast feeding, in fact people get upset if you say anything about it. I guess, it truly is the Government telling us what we can and can not do And where we can and can not do it!!!!

Ryan Munson

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 10:39 p.m.

I'll definitely be out to more restaurants that I never could try because of the smoke.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 10:07 p.m.

"Why is this law necessary?" I prefer to think of it as a workplace hazard issue. Think about the servers, bussers and bartenders who don't get to choose whether or not they breathe in second-hand smoke for their entire shift, several days or nights a week. I used to work in a club and I'll never forget that smell on my clothes. I often wonder if someday I'll pay the ultimate price for two years of second-hand smoke. I agree with the others who say this will actually increase business for most places. My family would go bowling more often if there was no smoking allowed in bowling alleys. Anyone know if they'll be included?

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 9:56 p.m.

This is stupid. Restaurants should be able to allow or disallow smoking if they want. People don't have to eat at a restaurant if they don't want. This is as stupid as regulating what sort of sex people engage in.

Will Warner

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 9:25 p.m.

I thought the market was working pretty well on this issue. Many, many restuarant ownwers freely elected to make their establishments non-smoking, and those are where I dine. Why is this law necessary?

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 9:21 p.m.

Andy Deloney, a spokesman for the Michigan Restaurant Association, which lobbied against the ban, criticized state lawmakers for telling us this is what is good for you. It does nothing to help the state of Michigan, he said.This guy is kidding, right? Saving lives and millions of dollars in health care costs are very good things for the state.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 9:03 p.m.


Mumbambu, Esq.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 8:36 p.m.

It's not against the law to fart in a restaraunt but it's still inconsiderate. We don't need to have a law about that because for the most part people make the CIVIL choice to only stink places up like that in private. Smokers can't smoke at the bar, drinkers can't drink in thier car. We all make these teeny tiny sacrifices to live in this civil society and not in anarchy.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 8:35 p.m.

gummint dictating (previously) freely available choices. what part of dictatorship/tyranny do you oppose? "... and then they came for me."


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 8:26 p.m.

Honestly, it is about time. Michigan has seemed to lag behind in this legislation for ever. One doesn't realize how bad smokey establishments can be hazardous for one for a variety of reasons. Besides the whole lung argument, it is really bad for the voice. I enjoy socializing at local pubs and bars. When I come home from having a few in town, my throat kills and I can feel straining in my voice. I do not seem to have this problem when frequenting bars out of town like Chicago, New York, Boston, Columbus, etc. It is obvious smoke has a lot to do with this. People who smoke will not stop going to bars for this reason - my partner is a heavy smoker. Even living in a smoke free state (Illinois), he still frequents restaraunts, bars, clubs. He just goes outside if he is feeling the need for a smoke. The antiquated argument that doing away with smoking will hurt business has been proven to not be very strong, based on what has occured in many states. If one likes his/her brew, he/she will still visit their local even if a smoking ban has been enacted.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 7:19 p.m.

I can restrict my own right to get cancer and die. I will enjoy going into smoke-free bars, and will probably go out more because of this ban. However, I'm still against it. I don't think that a law is the way to do this. If people were bothered enough by smoke in bars, we wouldn't "need" a ban.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 7:06 p.m.

@Lokalisierung Oh NO not the GOVERNMENT restricting my RIGHT to get cancer and die. D: Oh and drinking alcohol, especially red wine, has actual documented health benefits!


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 7:01 p.m.

Actually fjord i think that was his whole point about... "The rest of your argument operates from the faulty premise that anybody is forced to go into an establishment that allows smoking. I think this has been addressed only, like, a dozen times by myself and others in this thread." make it a baker's dozen. If you don't want to inhale smoke all day don't work at a place that allows that hard to understand?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 7 p.m.

I'm allergic to some of the ingredients in perfumes and colognes. They make my eyes water and sometimes give me hives. Clearly this is bad for my health, but I have the RIGHT to stand next to you in any public place, so YOU should be legally banned from entering anywhere I might be if you have applied any of these offending scents. You see, it's not about your right to apply stinky perfume, it's about MY right not to have to move away from you. I COULD just stand somewhere else, but I have the RIGHT to stand right next to you, so according to the logic of the law, it is YOUR fault that my eyes water. I expect any day now, our government will look after MY rights, and ban the wearing of offensive perfume in any public place. I look forward to the day I can go to the store or the restaurant and not have to wonder if someone will come near me with offensive scents applied that will make me sick.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 6:52 p.m.

@ Sirotan - " There are no benefits from smoking, zero" What does that have to do with anything other than a government restricting your rights as a citizen? What "benifit" does me enoying a country drive in my vihicle on a weekend? bad for the environment, bad for people, creates noxious gasses...etc. What are the benifits of drinking alcohol? What about eating sugar?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 6:44 p.m.

lollin at the comments on this page. We should be applauding this change as a way to slowly phase out cigarette use altogether. There are no benefits from smoking, zero. If there were I would perhaps care about any possible 'slippery slope' from this legislation. Also hurray Michigan for taking so long to do this that we were the 37th state to enact such legislation. Way to be progressive!


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 6:32 p.m.

Everyone needs to look into the electronic cigarette. It has helped my family and friends quit and it helps business because its allowed in Non-Smoking places. Just water vapor and nicotine. The website to buy one is


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:50 p.m.

See how much this bumps up the new Vaporizing Nicotine systems that seem to be growing a tad lately....should be able to "smoke" (use)those in public places.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:38 p.m.

"Casinos were exempted so as not to be at a competitive disadvantage to the Indian-owned casinos that do not have to follow the State law." Based on the "comps" and perks the three Detroit casinos have been giving me, they seem to believe their competition isn't each other or places to the north in the state, but Caesar's in Windsor. And Caesar's in Windsor has been smoke free for quite some time now. In Detroit they've been matching my Windsor comps and offers regularly, but I'll be more inclined to come spend a few hours if they'll match the smoke free environment.

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:22 p.m.

Just curious...Has anyone ever done a study on smokers vs. non smokers relative to IQ, economic staus, income level or racial profile?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:21 p.m.

@"John Galt" Shooting someone with a gun is already "banned", as is drunk driving.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:18 p.m.

Let's not get carried away and turn this into a reproductive rights debate... no one is telling you that you can't smoke.

John Galt

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:16 p.m.

Don't know about you all....but I'm looking for other things to ban and control. Lets go with alcohol. Why should we be endangered by drunk/impared drivers? Guns? Who should place their rights to defend themselves above our collective safety? High sugar content foods, why should we pay for the bad choices of overweight people? etc. etc.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:13 p.m.

Say hello to the Nanny State and watch the country go down the drain. Where is the "get you laws off my body" crowd now?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:10 p.m.

My point was merely that the government officials who "work for us" are often paid to tell us what we can and cannot do. This is why it's called a "legislature".


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:08 p.m.

@David Bardallis: "Do you really believe restaurant owners need the government to "tell" them not to poison their customers?" Apparently, otherwise there would be no need for the ban. BTW, plenty of restaurants are cited for food safety violations every day. How many of them would correct these issues if they were not being regulated by the gov't? I'm curious, do you support reinstatement of smoking on airplanes? I assume that you must.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:07 p.m.

CynicA2 said "most people who work in bars", not "most people who work in bars in Ann Arbor". Remember that this ban is state-wide; don't think Arbor Brewing Co., think the White House in Mohawk. Next they came for the smokers, and I did not speak out... for I was not a smoker.

David Bardallis

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5:04 p.m.

Now you are conflating crimes with non-crimes.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 5 p.m.

@Eric64: Is that what criminals should tell police officers and judges? "You work for me! Who are YOU to tell ME when and where I can or cannot stab someone to death?!"


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:59 p.m.

Yogi... I can assure you my observations are based on having known several generations of bar and restaurant employees, as well as having worked in couple myself, while in college. As for the day... every day above ground is a good day! Cheers...

David Bardallis

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:58 p.m.

@Blicero, Do you really believe restaurant owners need the government to "tell" them not to poison their customers? The rest of your argument operates from the faulty premise that anybody is forced to go into an establishment that allows smoking. I think this has been addressed only, like, a dozen times by myself and others in this thread.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:56 p.m.

Hey People remember These are elected officals who work for us. They have no right to tell us what and hwere we can do things.What happened to freedom of choice.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:54 p.m.

Lokalisierung - you are correct about California but I think it is 15 feet but you are allowed to smoke in the outside seating areas of that same establishment.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:49 p.m.

Although in this cash-strapped state a "cigar bar" will be a designation that must be paid for. I can see that happening.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:48 p.m.

CynicA2 - As someone who worked their way through college working in a few bars and restaurants in A2. All I can say to your facts you state is "erroneous, erroneous, and erroneous". BTW are you having a bad day?

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:48 p.m.

This is a dangerous slippery slope. If this passes eventually the government will ban smoking in movie theaters, on airplanes, in sports arenas, where will it end?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:44 p.m.

I'm pretty sure it's literally a bar that has a cheap rack of food served.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:42 p.m.

What qualifies as a cigar bar?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:41 p.m.

@ Yogi I don't want to disgree with you but the whole "just go smoke outside" is great if it stays like that, but I can see it going downhill from there. Are smokers to go right outside and smoke? Then the non smokers that get so upset by having to "wash their clothes the next day" after going into a smokey bar, are going to complain about the 4-5 people by the front door smoking. Then they must be 50 feet form the front door...then in a car...then not at all? Isn't that the way California is? I'm pretty sure colleges you have to be 500 feet from any building. If you make a 'law' like that aound here 500 feet from any resuraunt may be a little bit of a hike.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:40 p.m.

It'll be interesting to see how many bars convert to private "smokers only" type clubs. Who in the hell goes to a bar to get healthy, anyway?! For restaurants, maybe - but for bars... never. Most people who work in bars smoke themselves, as anyone who regularly frequents them knows. Most non-smokers are week-end warrior types, not regulars. As one bar owner once told me... "Send me all the smokers!! They eat more, they drink more, and they tip better! I want a bar where they ban all those snotty non-smokers - who will probably slip on a banana peel and die after a night of healthful, smoke-free tippling. Gimme a break.

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:39 p.m.

Smokers are in the minority there isn't a restuarant around that would have 99 smokers in it.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:39 p.m.

@DavidBardallis: "I am sympathetic to those who dislike smelling like smoke after they've spent a night out (I don't much care for it myself -- who does?); however, this dislike does not translate into a justification for telling business owners what they can and can't allow in their own establishments." - "Dislike?" Would you argue that the government has no business telling restaurants they can't serve salmonella infested chicken? Your argument is based on property rights, so you must be familiar with the responsibility that goes along with owning private property, in that your property must not infringe on the property rights of others, including their bodies (read: public health). Regulation in the interest of public health supercedes property rights.

Deb Anderson

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:39 p.m.

As a staunch fiscal conservative and one who applauds all with liberty involved, this ban only makes sense. The cost in the long run of tobacco-induced illness cannot be calculated but first and second-hand smoke is the leading cause of prevention controlled health-related cancers, lung, and cardio-vascular disease. I travel extensively throughout the U.S. and I know when I'm home again, every single bar and restaurant smells like an ashtray. I don't feel that it's up to the government to curb bad behavior but created non-smoking establishments in general hasn't worked in the private sector. It's one thing to eat a billion high fat burgers but that isn't affecting anyone but the person eating them. The same cannot be said about smoking. Smoking affects you AND everyone else within a 30 foot radius. I'm all for liberty and personal rights but where does your right end where it doesn't affects others? Smokers are in the minority now. Live or die with it, why should your choice endanger others? This is long overdue and it's going to be nice enjoying a dinner out and/or a jazz club without feeling inflicted upon by others. Good news foir Michigan, we look and smell a lot more civilized.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:35 p.m.

Go Michigan! Deep breath :)


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:33 p.m.

It could be good/bad for's business shouldn't change that much since they will all be non smoking and on a level playing field. Now if I'm a smoker and I can either go to a bar that's non smoking or smoking, i'm obviously going to pickj the smoking bar...increasing the bar's (er..Cigar Bar's) business.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:31 p.m.

Every place I have been where there is a ban the outside seating is exempt. In Colorado the casinos were exempt for about six months and then they were included.

Atticus F.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:31 p.m.

Billy mays ghost, I hope your not serious about the smoking in cars ban. That will certainly pave the way for a no beverage ban while driving. Try taking a sip from a coffee mug while at the wheel, and then take a pencil and hold it up to your lips to simulate a cigarette, then tell me which is more dangerous. This talk of a smoking ban while driving is more proof that this is based on intolerance of the choices of others, whats popular, and whats pollitically correct. as apposed to being a safety issue.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:28 p.m.

I for one am glad they finally passed the law to ban smoking. Now I can go to Ashley's where they have more beer than Canada and have a microbrew without choking on smoke. Some are saying we can frequent other places but come on, is there another Ashley's? I don't think so.

The Grinch

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:28 p.m.

About time.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:26 p.m.

I can't say I support this, because I do believe that business owners should make this decision themselves. I'm not surprised this is going through, though, and the result of it won't bother me. I don't think it's going to drive anyone out of business; people aren't going to avoid going out just because they can't smoke anymore. I'm not a smoker, and smoke doesn't bother me a whole lot, so this won't have a big impact on my life. I just don't like the government intrusion into peoples' personal lives. I am certainly glad the cigar bar/tobacco shop exemption is in there, though. These establishments are created specifically for smokers, and everyone knows what they're getting into when they enter such a business, either as a patron or as a potential employee.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:20 p.m.

As a former smoker, cell phone owner - there is nothing more distracting than texting while driving.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:19 p.m.

Absolutely wonderful!


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:17 p.m.

Casinos were exempted so as not to be at a competitive disadvantage to the Indian-owned casinos that do not have to follow the State law.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:15 p.m.

Well it seems, if I'm reading correctly, that bars that do not serve food you will still be able to smoke in as long as they sell cigars, making them a "Cigar Bar;" Which of course every bar will start doing. I don't know what this means for a place that serves small things to eat and does not have a kitchen though. This actually isn't a bad system as long as there's a place to smoke outside. Cities like Seattle & Austin many bars will have a outside seating area for smokers to sit & enjoy some tabaccoo (easier there because of weather though). Many places already here have outdoor seating areas and I wonder if an eating estblishment has such an area, if it is exempt from this ban? Probably not but you never know.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:15 p.m.

I don't believe anyone has commented on the "cigar bar" exemption. Does anyone have any more detailed knowledge of what this entails? I imagine Bab's would be a shoe-in for that designation but not sure who else. (Melange? Basement area of The Chophouse?)

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:14 p.m.

I have been in places that have "smoke eaters" on the ceiling and they're pretty efficeint, perhaps that should be the mandate. Again back to the minimal air quality standards. All businesses must provide a safe hazzard free work environment for thier employees.....That's the law!

Atticus F.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:13 p.m.

@ dalast word, If there is a restaraunt that allows smoking, and there are 99 people in there having a cigarette, why should your rights outweight the rights of the other 99 people in there? Nobody is forcing you to walk into that estabishment, But at the same time you want to force 99 people to conform to whats most convienient to you.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:10 p.m.

David Bardallis, you are the most intelligent person on here. You are seeing the big picture and are so correct I applaud you sir for bringing some intelligence to this section. I for one think this ban is unjust. Workers that work in bars know the risks they are taking but CHOOSE to work there regardless of the hazards. Smokers CHOOSE to smoke knowing the consequences, that's why they pay more for medical insurance. You CHOOSE to go to a restaraunt that allows smoking and then complain. You chose to go there you weren't forced to go there. BUT now the gov't of Michigan (BTW thanks for the jobs you are creating Jenny and you bums in the legislature) will CHOOSE for you. I can't wait til Michigan chooses its next imposement on individual rights.

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:07 p.m.

Atticus,of course you realize your coments actually make the oposing aggrument as well. David's point is valid until you understand that just because someone else wants to smoke...I should be restricted on the places I visit. Like bowling alleys or how about a restuarant where I'm sitting in the NON smoking section and the table Next to me is in the smoking secion. Seriously you can't go a couple of hours with out smoking?

Atticus F.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:06 p.m.

yogi, no need to save a seat for me...I personally dont smoke. But I do think it's important that all people be given choices even if their choices are frowned upon or politically incorrect. As a non smoker, I have the choice of not going into a bar that allows smoking. but I think smokers should be afforded the choice of going to a place that does allow smoking, if they so choose. I just think it's wrong to force my smoke free lifestyle on others. And I try to respect the rights of others to choose for themselves. If you dont want to work in a smokey environment, there are plenty of smoke free resaruants to work in.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4:02 p.m.

@Charley Sullivan, they is a "sports" bar that is non-smoking in Saline.

Charley Sullivan

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 4 p.m.

Nudity (partial or full)is essentially legal, just not in public. And I'd argue that my health would be much less harmed by having partially naked people around me in a bar or restaurant than being near smokers. In the privacy of our own homes, in a private club or space, among like-minded friends in private space or with those who are open to someone being nude, or smoking, go for it. But if it wouldn't be OK to be exposed there, it shouldn't be OK to smoke either. Now, that might provide for things like smoking lounges, just as there are public bathrooms and locker rooms at the gym where partial and full nudity aren't problematic. But I have loved being able to go to a Sports Bar in Boston or in California to watch a football game and to not have to deal with smoke.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:52 p.m.

@mkw...with 70% of restaurants in our county smoke free, why would you choose to frequent an establishment with smokers? You made the decision to go in there, then you complain about it. I don't get it. Wait until A2 bans meat from menus and we're all forced into being vegetarians...sound implausible? Think again.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:52 p.m.

Atticus F. Are you really serious with that argument? No one is banning smoking they are just asking people go outside and smoke. Is that too much to ask to ensure a safe working enviroment? I assure you your seat will still be there when you return. I realize going outside to smoke today may be considered hazardous too


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:51 p.m.

I used to be a big proponent of letting restaurants choose whether to having smoking allowed on their own... but I've changed my tune because when it comes down to it, it's not fair to make the workers breathe it in. As a patron I could go somewhere else, but they can't just find a new job in this economy. I was a server for years. I work in a cube now, and no one lights up in my office (whose office allows that?). In fact, I have much better health benefits now -- and restaurant workers have notoriously poor health benefits... which of course would be more needed should they get sick from long-term exposure to secondhand smoke. Also, come on, businesses are not going to be hurt because they are all smoke free -- if NONE of the bars allow smoking, the smokers have nowhere to go to smoke and they'll just hang out at the place they prefer and smoke outside. I don't think anyone is going out to a bar (or the Fleetwood) just to smoke. Although in my younger days it was enjoyable.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:46 p.m.

I for one am so very happy that this is finally a reality. We have avoided going to so many places because of the smoking. We went to a bar last Friday night and the next morning I had to wash my coat and scarf because they reeked of stale smoke. I quit 22 years ago because I knew that my non-smoking husband would be forced to take care of me some day. Now I will patronize many more places because they won't be filled with smoke! HUrrah!


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:43 p.m.

@WWII Veteran...good question!

Atticus F.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:42 p.m.

Yogi, we have many pofessions in this country that are considered dangerous. But we dont ban people from working on fishing boats, or working on power lines... And at the same time, we dont force people to work on power lines, or fishing boats...or bars that allow smoking. My point is that if you dont want to work in a smokey invironment, then find a job at a non-smoking estabishment...But please dont expect paying customers to change their behavior to suit your needs.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:38 p.m.

This will certainly help the private clubs, since they will be immune from the bill. One thing many people forget is that the less smoking in this state, the less tax revenue. I would think something more like a ban until 10:00 pm would be a little bit more within reason, although I really think it should be market driven to begin with. Now legislature it is time to ban smoking in confined spaces, e.g. cars, with children in them. That is much more important than banning it in restaurants and bars. Anybody know how this applies to outdoor seating areas?

WW II Veteran

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:37 p.m.

What did our legislators in Lansing receive from the casino owners in order for them to exempt them from the smoking ban?


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:34 p.m.

@DavidBardallis....KUDOS! You hit the crux of the argument smack on the top of the head!

Mumbambu, Esq.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:34 p.m., liberty, pursuit of property, and to allow others to smoke on your property.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:34 p.m.

As a patron you have a choice but as an employee you don't. Smoking makes it a hazardous enviroment and no one should have to work in that situation.

Atticus F.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:33 p.m.

All of these self absorbed people are so happy that they can now limit the choices of others because of their own personal preferences. Kind of a sad twist on our puritan desire to controll the behavior of others. It seems like some people think their rights outweigh the rights of others.

David Bardallis

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:27 p.m.

Unfortunately, completely lost in this story and practically every other story on government-imposed smoking bans is the all-important issue of property rights. Whether business owners have more or less business as the result of allowing smoking on their properties (or being forced to disallow it) is a purely utilitarian argument that also misses the point. I am sympathetic to those who dislike smelling like smoke after they've spent a night out (I don't much care for it myself -- who does?); however, this dislike does not translate into a justification for telling business owners what they can and can't allow in their own establishments. And nobody forces anybody to patronize a bar or restaurant that allows smoking: Those who do not like smoking don't have to patronize them. And in fact, Ann Arbor has an increasing number of completely smoke-free establishments to serve anyone who absolutely can't stand smoking.* This is how a free market is supposed to work: Everyone has someplace they can go if they prefer; no one group is forcing its preferences on everyone else. So I can't get behind this latest bout of fascism-for-our-own-good. In the end, abrogating property rights serves no one's best interests -- well, no one's except maybe the politicians who are all too happy to exercise undeserved power over the lives and properties of others under whichever pretext sounds the most plausible: public health, the children, the planet, etc. etc. But I'm making an intellectual and philosophical argument about something most people have only emotional responses to, so carry on with the cheering. At least until the all-powerful state makes some activity you enjoy into a crime and you wonder how it ever came to that. *(The sidebar to this very story even notes 70% of Washtenaw County restaurants are completely smoke-free. The remaining 30% are required to have nonsmoking sections. I'm not even a smoker myself, but I have to ask: Why do smoke-haters feel so oppressed by such numbers?)


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:26 p.m.

@Dalastword, perhaps you should stay out of places that allow smoking. But then again, I, unlike the government, can make the best choice for myself by not going to places that may be harmful to my health.

Mumbambu, Esq.

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:26 p.m.

Great article!

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:22 p.m.

Riz, how about going to bed after being out and having your hair and body as well as your spouses' stink.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:20 p.m.

It makes the establishments so much more enjoyable to be in. I've lived in many places where there is a no smoking policy for bars and restaurants and its always the same old story. People get TV time complaining about how the ban will drive them out of business but the reality is business increases by 5% - 10%... Plus its not fair to subject the minimum wage workers to that enviroment. This law is way way overdue....


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:19 p.m.

I agree with Ignatz. The government should set minimum air quality standards and then let the business owners determine the best way to comply. Who know, perhaps such a system would spur more manufacturing of filtrations systems, and thus more jobs, with out unwarranted government intrusion.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:19 p.m.

I wonder if the laundry detergent companies are opposed to this ban? I hope they are! (not that I would ever wear something more than once between washes :-)


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:16 p.m.

I'm not against this ban exactly, but I do have mixed feelings about it. I'm a smoker, and I don't smoke in restaurants because it seems rude to do so where people are eating. For most public establishments, this seems like a reasonable thing. However, for bars and clubs, I feel like it should be up to the establishment to decide if smoking is allowed in designated areas or not. For better or worse, it is not illegal to smoke and there are a lot of people who do. For many, smoking goes right along with watching a game at the bar, or hanging out in the clubs, etc. If the owner of the establishment wants to make their place completely non-smoking that's great. In my opinion though, it is not our government's place to make that decision for them. I'm happy for everyone who thinks this is great, since it really makes no difference to me. I guess my point is simply that we should be careful, and think long and hard about when we let our government tell us what we can and cannot do. Happy Holidays!

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:16 p.m.

If you buy a used car, it has a lower value if the previous owner was a smoker. That's because it's a stinken vile habit that makes your breath smell foul on top of the health risk.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 3:01 p.m.

It's funny to me how all the smokers out there are trying to compare this to drinking. Guess what, drunk driving is also illegal, and my drink vapors aren't known to give others around me lung cancer.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:54 p.m.

I would think that if the Detroit casinos managed to garner an exemption, other facilities wanting the same could apply as well. And it's a good thing to ban...cuz everyone knows that drivers that are drunk kill fewer people than smoke.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:53 p.m.

It's too bad that governments are so black and white in their approach to such things. It's either all or nothing at all. I understand the concerns of those who don't want to be around smokers, but perhaps if they gave the owners of these private enterprises an option of meeting a minimal air quality standard after a period of time, them more folks would be happy and government would be that less intrusive. My fear is that next on the agenda is banning smoking even outside, where the smell of smoke if the primary concern and not any health hazzard.

DaLast word

Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:51 p.m.

I must aggree with Riz,I avoid establishments of all kinds if I have to have my cloths fumegated the next day. If the only thing that attracks people to your restuarant is the fact that they can smoke then that's a sad statement in it's self. Plus all your customers are going to die prematurely, leaving you w/o any clients....Sorry


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:51 p.m.

Now let's ban drinking in family restuarants.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:48 p.m.

There are always anecdotes about restaurants/bars losing business from smoking bans, but it seems like a rationalization to me. If your business depends on smoking, you might be in the wrong business.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:46 p.m.

although, I would exempt the Fleetwood. Not sure which is healthier there, the smoke or the food.


Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 2:45 p.m.

This is so awesome I can't wait for this to go into effect. These restaurant owners have to know that many non-smokers don't go out as much or go to certain places because their clothes and lungs fill with smoke, now we will visit your restaurant unfettered by smoke! Rejoice! I also have to say that Michigan is following the great state of Ohio which has already had the foresight to pass this law.