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Posted on Sun, May 1, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Restaurant air quality improves, but debate continues a year after the smoking ban

By Juliana Keeping


Amy Hudson, an Old Town Tavern bartender and server, says that business has improved after the 1-year anniversary of the smoking ban in Ann Arbor.

Angela J. Cesere |

It's been a year today since the workplace smoking ban took effect in Michigan, but the debate about whether the ban stomps on personal freedoms or protects the public health hasn’t been decided.

The Michigan Restaurant Association said this past week that some of its members reported negative business consequences. It wants the law repealed.

Meanwhile, a tobacco policy expert disputed the notion that workplace bans hurt businesses like bars and restaurants. And around Ann Arbor, several restaurant servers and managers said business has remained the same or gotten better. Many workers and patrons said they didn't miss the ashtray smell that followed them home.

Restaurant and tavern owners should be able to determine what’s best for their business, said Andy Deloney, vice president of communications for the MRA, which lobbied against the ban.

“Dining patrons can determine for themselves which establishments they do or do not want to frequent,” he said.

The MRA still opposes the ban and is weighing its options on how it might build momentum and repeal the law, Deloney said. Citing a survey of 300 of its 4,500 members, he said about 100 reported that the ban hurt their business. A local tobacco policy expert who previously testified in Lansing in favor of a ban said this week that those kinds of claims are baseless. He said at least 100 studies have shown smoking bans do not hurt the hospitality industry.

“And it is quite possible there is no general source of environmental pollution as dangerous to so many people as second-hand tobacco smoke,” said Kenneth Warner, a University of Michigan public health professor who has studied tobacco policy since 1976.

Smoking kills around 440,000 people a year, and before 30 states implemented workplace bans like Michigan’s, around 50,000 per year were estimated to die from conditions brought on by second-hand smoke, Warner said.

About half of smoking deaths are from lung cancer, Warner said. Smoking also causes a host of other cancers, as well as cardiac and lung diseases.

Around Ann Arbor, opinions were mixed nearly a year after the ban went into effect on May 1, 2010.

Walt Bishop, a Fleetwood Diner regular who smokes, didn’t have any sympathy for people who want to smoke in restaurants. The Fleetwood, a townie and after-bar favorite, was a smoker’s paradise until the ban passed.

Bishop said the atmosphere has improved since the ban was instituted.

“It’s much more pleasant in here,” he said.

Melissa Sheffer, a server at Fleetwood, didn’t favor the ban when it passed and she feels the same way a year later. She also disagrees with its uneven application — casinos and cigar bars allow smoking under the law.

“I felt it should be left up to the owner. I still feel that way,” she said.

She smokes, but prefers doing so outside, ban or no ban. She added that the air quality has improved at the diner.

Jill Mazzola has three children under 5, and neither she nor her husband smoke. At a late lunch at the Arbor Brewing Company this past week, she said the smell of smoke would have stopped her from coming in to grab lunch. Her family loves the ban.

The Arbor Brewing Company went smoke-free well ahead of the statewide ban, in August 2009, said general manager Renee Schantz. It caused a dip in business in the game room, where smoking was allowed, at the brewery and restaurant at first. But business bounced back, especially after smoking was banned everywhere else, Schantz said.

Last Wednesday, the state released its own study of 40 Michigan bar employees that said the ban has improved bar workers’ overall health and reduced second-hand smoke.

Old Town Tavern bartender and server Amy Hudson, who smokes, said she had far fewer colds and lung problems in the months since the smoking ban took effect.

Hudson recalled working in a thick cloud of cigarette smoke each time she tended bar prior to the ban.

“I just feel better,” she said. “I can breathe better. I used to go home and smell like an ash tray.”

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter.



Tue, May 3, 2011 : 3:32 a.m.

The MRA still opposes the ban and is weighing its options on how it might build momentum and repeal the law, Deloney said. Citing a survey of 300 of its 4,500 members, he said about 100 reported that the ban hurt their business. Really??? If smoking makes the difference for a food establishment to make a profit - then I would have to conclude that food establishment doesn't have anything to offer and should close up shop.


Tue, May 3, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

This is all disgusting because: cigarette smoke in bars and restaurants annoys the majority of patrons. It's a public nuisance - end of story. I say that as a smoker - go figure. Point: All this BS justification for eliminating a simple public nuisance is over-kill and does NOTHING to help people quit. Hundreds of millions of dollars were forced from corporate coffers to "deal with health issues related to smoking" - NONE of that went for the stated purpose. Instead, shyster politicians in all the state legislatures spent that money on unrelated things which made them look good. All the claims, studies and statistics on smoking are 100% over-kill baloney. Smoking is a very low risk activity: it takes decades to have any effect. Look up "low toxicity" if you don't understand what I mean. The negative health effects fall on only a minority of those who do smoke. So all the ordinances and signs are a waste of money: except for the fact that they are valid ONLY because cigarette smoke is a public nuisance in public places. Just cut the crap and everyone get interested in funding research which will make cigarette smoking a thing of the past. People who spend time and money on OTHER important medical issues aren't so heroic because they ignore this particular item entirely. Because: they are too busy with pay-back tactics for an annoyance that could have been ended decades ago without all that self-justification.


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

It's funny how few times the health of employees is mentioned here. I once had a job in NJ doing 'PFTs' (Pulmonary Function Tests) and did tens of thousands of them. I was pretty astonished (I didn't smoke) at the low scores of the poor people who weren't smokers, but worked in smoked filled environments like bars and restaurants. I would see the scores and would initially conclude that they smoked only to find they didn't. Instead they worked in a bar or restaurant and breathed smoke for 8-10 hours. Their scores were those of people who smoked 1.5-2 packs a day. I felt so sorry for them that they had to sacrifice their health (and sometimes lives) to their jobs and something that could be eliminated. Today with jobs so hard to find it's absolutely depressing to think some business owners think sacrificing their employees lives is 'freedom'. Sacrifice for the owner's profits. If the owner wants to kill him or herself breathing a known carcinogen that's their choice -- but their employees? It's not 'choice'...


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 4:54 a.m.

Be aware of &quot;the other secondhand smoke&quot; Woodsmoke: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

Oooh, oooh, you want I should use coal for my auxiliary heat in the winter? Lets not deal with the smoke thats been proven to have the most potent carcinogen on record-Diesel fuel burned at load


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 4:43 a.m.

To the &quot;private property&quot; people: You don't really OWN the actual land your business sits on. The State owns it. That's because you are IN The United States. You may own the VALUE of the land, and have the right to keep out trespassers. But you don't really OWN it. Not really. To test this: Stop paying property tax. And then declare yourself a sovereign country. And then see what happens. Since the State is the real property owner, the State can set forth reasonable rules for ALL to follow. This includes protection of the health and safety of the public, ESPECIALLY where public venues are concerned. There is no argument here. Get used to the smoking ban. It is here to stay.


Tue, May 3, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

Good show! Thanks for handing some of these privatizer bunnies a reminder. I'll add that privatizer bunnies don't really have the right to put up signs prohibiting people with concealed pistol licenses from carrying their - concealed - hand guns into their stores. That's an abrogation of the right to self defense: it's not a matter of &quot;personal choice&quot; on the part of either party. Just sayin'.


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

I love reading the comments of all you hypocrites in here...If you don't like smoking, start a petition and put it on the ballot to make smoking illegal. That will never happen, because the states economy will go into the toilet by losing all the taxes that I pay, we're already hearing how revenues are down 20% because people are quitting. Higher taxes on all of you are coming to make up the difference, and I'll be here to remind you of the fact...

Marshall Applewhite

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 1:44 a.m.

I'm a social smoker, but I enjoy the fact that bars aren't filled with smoke anymore. No problem whatsoever with going outside to smoke. Still though, I find it really strange that people are clinging to the claim that &quot;bars are doing even better now!!!&quot; The majority of bars in this state are not doing better since the law. It just proves that people in Ann Arbor will state anything as fact in order to support their point of view.

Roger Roth

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

Marshall, You're a social smoker? Are socials as good as Marlboros?


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 4:44 a.m.

Far more likely to the bad economy.

Jake C

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 4:28 a.m.

Okay, you claim: &quot;The majority of bars in this state are not doing better since the law.&quot; The article states: &quot;Citing a survey of 300 of its 4,500 members [of the Michigan Restaurant Association], he said about 100 reported that the ban hurt their business. A local tobacco policy expert who previously testified in Lansing in favor of a ban said this week that those kinds of claims are baseless. He said at least 100 studies have shown smoking bans do not hurt the hospitality industry.&quot; Okay, so out of a survey of 300 bars, 100 say &quot;the ban has hurt their business&quot;. Let's leave aside the fact that it's almost impossible for any business to know exactly what is contributing to a decline in sales, 2/3rds of respondents say their sales are the same or better than they were before the ban went into effect. It sounds like exactly the opposite of what you stated -- the majority of bars are doing better. And the main group leading the charge to repeal the ban actually stated that 2/3rds of its respondents had business increase! What more do you need to hear?!


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

The fact is some are doing better, others are doing worse. So? That has NOTHING to do with the issue. I could say it actually is helping party stores because people do not go drink at a bar, they drink at home. Or, people actually spend money on clothes, or a new car, or a vacation instead of spending it drinking and playing Keno in a bar. A restaurant or bars ability to attract business by poisoning its customers is not a valid reason to allow it.

Peter Jameson

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

POISON!!! The sky is falling!

Jim Nazium

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

I'm glad I quit smoking. It is a disgusting habit and if you are trying to quit, don't quit quitting until you do.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

I know several bar and restaurant owners/managers, some local, some not. None of the BARS are doing more business as a result of the ban - even the few non-smoking owners admit it has hurt their money crowd, the 10PM-2AM group (frequently made up of restaurant staffers, as they tend to close earlier), who drink more and tip better. They also tend to be smokers. Some &quot;restaurants&quot; have gained a little business around dinner time, but families with rug rats having dinner isn't where BARS make their money. Beer, wine, and liquor - in large amounts - are how real bars make money, and unless it's a football Saturday, or some other special event, they mostly capture that market segment later in the evening, right up 'til closing. No one goes to a bar to get healthy. Ironically, some bar/restaurant workers have lost their jobs because of this law. Wonder if they like being healthily unemployed? Want &quot;No Smoking&quot; restaurants - fine - but, bars not serving food and catering to &quot;Smokers Only&quot; should have a place in the mix, and would do a thriving business, I'm quite sure.


Mon, May 2, 2011 : 3:13 a.m.

It is true that I have friends in low places - &quot;I'd rather sink with the sinners than swim with the saints... the sinners are much more fun...etc&quot;, but this article from the Detroit News, quoted in a previous article on the smoking ban published here a few days ago, suggests the decline in BAR sales is more generalized than &quot;the bottom 20%&quot;. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Also, as far as I can tell, business in Vegas is down because of the state of the economy over the past few years - money is too dear for most folks to just flush down the toilet in a casino - not because they failed to jump on the latest demographic trends. Young people are rarely the high rollers casinos crave, in any case. I'm quite sure that a &quot;smokers only&quot; bar, where only smokers work and only smokers are allowed in, would be a virtual license to print money. Wish I had one.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

Sounds like you know the bottom 20% of bar and restaurant owners. A few shiny pennies is not worth the health of people you employ or people who enter your doors. Vegas is hurting right now because they've clung to old-fashioned business models. As a result, fewer young people think of Vegas as an exciting destination. Same goes for restaurants on the local level. Find what draws people in and makes them sit and drink. Many local bars are running weekly trivia contests. Some have live music. Some are trying to cater to the younger crowd with trendier drink lists. This needed to be done. Bar ownership gives you the right to own a bar for your own use. Employing a worker is a public responsibility, as is opening your doors to the public.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

It is so nice to be able to go into a restaurant &amp; not inhale the smoke. I used to be a smoker &amp; can't stand to be around it. It's in you hair, clothing, lungs etc. Let the smokers go out side &amp; do their thing. Second hand smoke causes cancer among other various other ailments. It's not good for babies either. Please don't start this all over again. dannyrj

Blanch DuBois

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 8:58 p.m.

Just for the record.....a &quot;Smoking Section&quot; in an establishment is like having a &quot;Urinating Section&quot; in the pool.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

Now that is the best quote of the day!

Roger Roth

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

@northside, You're not implying, are you, that RJ Reynolds is a front for al-Queda?


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 8:07 p.m.

Okay, I'm in my mid 60's. Never smoked and have a bias against it, however after reading the article in the actual paper, which differs in the statistics quite a bit from the online version, I can see that some BARS, not restaurants, might be well served to allow smoking. Maybe they could be set up as private clubs with exemptions. Food service should be minimal.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

I thought I would miss smoky beer, watery eyes, and smelling like I have a habit, but I don't.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:16 p.m.

Punching ia a legal activity --- I can go to the gym and punch the punching bag all I want, but I can't go to work and punch a fellow employee. So what if smoking is a legal activity you have the right to pollute the air of a fellow employee.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

typo- Don't have the right to pollute the air of fellow employee.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

It's my property., so I don't want to serve blacks Its my property, I want to allow live sex acts and porn to be playing on the television Its my property, I want to allow sports gambling Its my property, i want to allow dog fighting (dogs are PROPERTY) in my place Its my property, I want to pee in the patrons food Its my property, I do not want to hire women because they belong home barefoot and pregnant serving their man It's my property, I want to buy cheaper non-commercial grade appliances and I am willing to risk a fire Its my property, I do not care that the rats are in the basement, I keep them away from the customers It's my property, I will serve alcohol and who the hell are you to tell me I need a license to do that It's my property, I don't feel like charging sales tax, it is not my job to be tax collector Go ahead conservatives, keep up your mindless drivel. You are boring.

Marshall Applewhite

Mon, May 2, 2011 : 1:38 a.m.

I see a lot of things in your post that you're actually allowed to prohibit on your own property. Not really sure where you're going with this.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

Perfectly stated!


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

perfectly stated!


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

This seems to me to be a no brainer. Let all establishments decide to be Smoking or Non Smoking. Make it mandatory to put a big SMOKING or NO SMOKING sign on the front of the restaurant/bar, etc. Let all those who car to smoke or don't mind the smoke, choose SMOKING establishments, and all those that don't choose NO SMOKING. The free market will determine what the public wants. Simple. By the way, these rules should also apply to casinos. Nice going slipping in an exemption for these.

Bob Johnson

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

The picture is not that of a restaurant. Not a BAR. I see no alcoholic beverages or signs stating you must be 21 to enter. The &quot;bartender&quot; is pouring a glass of water. What a bunch of phony hype.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:34 p.m.

Furthermore, when smoking was aloud, smokers would sit up at that bar at THAT tavernt. thanks for playing, Bob.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

The picture, Bob, is of Amy Hudson of the Old Town Tavern. As the name TAVERN should imply, they certainly DO serve alcohol. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:26 p.m.

@ Kai Petainen Isn't littering against the law? Lazy litterers need to learn better habits, eh? I 've Retired from the Ford Motor Company, don't smoke although I did at the end of my High School years for about a year and a half. The working environment I observed before and AFTER the banning of smoking in the Saline Factory, improved ALL people's health and absences many times over. That is a wonderful thing. Thanks for the Ban, legislature! If you smoke, quit for your own health and the people around you. I grew up with my Mom smoking 2 packs a day, and have chronic respiratory problems now for the rest of my life. There is no sense in it. There are better ways to deal with life's problems than smoking! :D


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Many smokers, besides not caring about themselves, are also pigs. They're the only ones throwing cigarette butts on the ground instead of using ash trays. All the time on the roads, stop lights, freeways, wherever, inconsiderate smokers throw cigarette butts out the windows to collect along the curb. They are the number one source of street trash everywhere and along every road. Its disgusting. STOP IT

Kai Petainen

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

C.I.g.s. not figs.

Kai Petainen

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

I completely agree with you. But since the ban there is more figs on the ground. Someone should clean that up so it doesn't clog up the drainage.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

As a pregnant woman, I am GRATEFUL for the smoking ban! It means I can hang out with my friends and have a bite to eat without having to worry about second hand smoke harming me or my unborn baby! I'm able to go to the Blind Pig and see shows without worrying about hurting the little one (but I hate using the 8-ball smells like feet down there now).


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

&quot;pregnant... Blind Pig.. hurting the little one.&quot; May want to read about &quot;exposure to excessive noise during pregnancy may result in high-frequency hearing loss in newborns, and may be associated with prematurity and intrauterine growth retardation&quot; <a href=";100/4/724" rel='nofollow'>;100/4/724</a>


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

I've never been able to go out to bars or restaurant because I would have to leave coughing, and usually ended up having to wait outside until my friends were finished, so I stopped trying and jut stayed home. Now I can hang out with my friends. Places I have only heard about I have been going to this year. I never dreamed I could have a life like this. I love the smoking ban.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

you may have a form of asthma that is triggered by smoke and other airborne particulates like pollen, molds &amp; perfumes too.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

Okay, driving is a regulated activity, like owning a bar, so how come people smoke in their car with little kids buckled in? All of us adults can make our own decsion about going to a place that allows smoking. A child has no say on whether mom, dad or anyone else is going subject them to their second hand smoke in the tight confines of an automobile. So, if it is about health lifestyles, lets really show it.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

We allow parents to do things that harm their children's health, as long as it's in private.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Right on TTC! People who smoke in their homes or car with children present are subjecting them to CHILD ABUSE. The kids have no choice in the matter and studies show that the earlier someone is subjected to second hand smoke, especially in a confined space like a car, the greater the chance for disease. Health lifestyles? Smoking is BAD for anyone and kids and other innocent bystanders shouldn't be forced to the same poor choices as the smoker.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

I'd rather have Mom or Dad smoking in the car instead of texting, talking on the phone, eating, etc.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

hey shumom - I buy my own car, I pay for my car repairs, I pay for insurance for it every year, I pay taxes on it in form of registration every year, it's my property. I should be able to drink a beer while driving in my own car. See the silliness?


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

&quot;Before 30 states implemented workplace bans like Michigan's, around 50,000 per year were estimated to die from conditions brought on by second-hand smoke.&quot; al-Queda has the wrong strategy. If they focused on getting smoking back in restaurants and bars they'd pull off the equivalent of 17 September 11 attacks every year.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

220 of 256 people who voted when I saw this story were for the smoking ban. If we put this to a popular vote instead of allowing a few who represent us vote for us, it would win by an equally large landslide in this state, where there remains a high percentage of smokers.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Lets see... I buy a million dollar bar I do a million dollar businees I pay 25000.00 for insurance I pay 5000 for licenses I pay to play music i pay to serve food I pay my employees I pay unemployment I pay fed. state local and personal property tax And because that non smoker decides he does not want smoke in MY bar the eighty other people who have been smoking now cannot. these decisions should be made by the owner not the government aka insurance companies . An alternative to the non smoking ban would be air purification systems in a restaurant which would have been better than the unfair treatment of the smokers who are doing a legal activity !


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

OldRUSHfan/AndyJacobs-A good system would significantly reduce the exposure to almost nil. Have you ever been in Bab's pre-ban? Lots of smokers and little smoke in the air and that was not a top notch system. Besides, the additional costs would prohibit most places from employing these systems, so those who do not want to be around the smoke would have far more choices then those who want to smoke have currently. This, of course does not address the ridiculous outdoor ban.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

@ Ignatz - see my post above. You're still subjecting the workers to the unhealthy environment and the rest of the citizens (aka also taxpayers) have to foot the bill through higher insurance premiums, medicare claims and other introduced health issues. You expect the workers to wear air filtration space suits perhaps? Good luck with that one.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

&quot;...better than the unfair treatment of the smokers who are doing a legal activity&quot; Exept that its PROVEN that second hand smoke harms and kills workers too. Who picks up the bill for all of these additional illnesses? TAXPAYERS. Contrary to what you believe pay and are entitled to YOU don't pay anything when they get lung cancer. So NO. The end of smoking around people who shouldn't have to risk their lives to serve a greasy burger.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

@Ignatz Let me guess. You own some kind of Bar or Restaurant? Well. The only filtration system that would PARTIALLY work, would be the smoker having an individual vacuum hose to exhale into. That is a FACT. The habit needs to be cured so smokers no longer put others at risk of death. Period.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Thanks to the ban, It's not legal for smokers to put the rest of the populace at risk for cancer and possible DEATH. Last I knew, governments generally frown on doing things that cause other folk to DIE. :D


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

I've been advocating filtration systems for years. @David-with a good system, there is no cliff. @Peter-if we can't design a relatively inexpensive effective system, we need to just quit all technology, because we'll never be able to do anything. It wouldn't be big government, because nobody is being compelled to do it.

Peter Baker

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:46 p.m.

So rather than the simple solution of banning indoor smoking, the government should've required costly (and dubiously effective) air purification retrofitting? Where's that fall on the big government meter?

David Briegel

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 1:56 p.m.

And because you jump off a cliff, everyone else should?

Kai Petainen

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:56 p.m.

with the ban,more people smoke outside and leave their butts on the sidewalk and in the drainage holes along city streets. It looks ugly and has the potential to clog up drainage.

Kai Petainen

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Good point

Jake C

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Of course things can be done, Kai. But all of it involves money. The city can require all places that have people smoking outdoors to have nearby cigarette-butt receptacles (another &quot;big government&quot; regulation placed on struggling small businesses). From what I've seen walking around downtown, many responsible businesses already have them in place, but yes, many others do not. Sadly, smokers aren't often willing to walk 40 feet down the sidewalk to deposit their used cigarettes in an appropriate place. Or the city can install them (and also regularly empty them) at taxpayers' expense. Again, something that many people aren't going to be happy about.

Kai Petainen

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Jake. I agree. But can something be done to cleanup the increase in butts on the city streets?

Jake C

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Right, because no one ever dropped cigarettes on the ground before the smoking ban went into effect. They simply deposited them into conveniently placed receptacles. These only existed indoors, but unfortunately there isn't a single business today that has such a thing in their outdoor smoking areas. Also, no one ever threw butts out their car windows as they drove around. Ahem, leaving the sarcasm aside, I'm willing to say the public health risk from having a few additional cigarette butts on the ground is far smaller than having servers and bartenders exposed to constant high levels of second-hand smoke.

Kai Petainen

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

here's an appropriate photo for this topic. ... you want a photo of cigs on the sidewalk and near the sewers? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Roger Roth

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

Let's just get rid of OSHA, if protecting the safety and health of employees is not important. Make ladders out of balsa wood. It's cheap and increases employers' bottom lines. Also, Massachusetts banned smoking in restaurants years ago. The upshot was that business in restaurants increased and dining out became a more pleasant experience. As MA did, we should put this to rest, finally, and get on to other important middle-class-in-the-trenches-worker-friendly legislation, like shifting more of the burden of financially keeping this state afloat to people/corporations who have money and covering every citizen for health care--as MA does. People in the trenches are already humble; they don't need to be ground down any further.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

If it really is a health issue, why are there exemptions for casinos and cigar bars? Don't you care about their health?


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 1:17 p.m.

The frequenters of those establishments are obviously considered to be of low social importance &amp; thus, expendable.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Legislators care about their strong lobby more than about the minions who have to live with the decisions. As is the case with everything else in politics.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

for many of us who see it as a health issue we didn't make the laws.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

This is a no-brainer. The majority of people don't smoke. The majority of the MRA respondents support the ban. Most all restaurants say business has returned or gotten better. For the vast majority of non-smokers who stayed away from places that allowed smoking, this ban has provided them with the opportunity to visit places they passed up before. I know that's the case for us. It is popular with the majority and is common anywhere one travels in the other states. It is not killing the economy. That statement can't be supported by this article or other studies or by personal observation.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 11:27 a.m.

What if a restaurant decided that it wanted to release high amounts Radon gas into its atmosphere? Shouldn't they have the right? Can't customers make an educated decision and not go there? No, you don't have a right to do anything and everything you want wherever and whenever you want. You don't have the right to make your workers and customers sick even if, God forbid, it affects your bottom line. Maybe if smoking only affected you and no one around you could you make the argument. But it doesn't, so get over it and move on.

Roger Roth

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

I'm writing to pay homage to all people &quot;in the trenches.&quot; Anytime the legislature acts in the interest of people in the trenches, the hundreds of thousands of people who, in reality, make this state and country run, it's a good thing. This legislation does just that. Also, atheists don't make rules about Jesus, et al; the constitution does. Also, B a r a C k, not Barak.

C. S. Gass

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 10:45 a.m.

This will probably get deleted, because it does not agree with the liberal/progressive bent of,, but here we go... BTW, I do not smoke cigarettes. Reasons NOT to ban smoking 1. It covers up people's BO stench, and I don't mean Barak Obama. 2. It camoflages farts. 3. It calms people. 4. What ever happened to letting people do as they want with thier own property? If a place allows smoking and you don't like it, don't go there/work there. It should be the owners decision. 5. Smokers may now be in the minority, but so what? Since when did those in the minority become second class citizens? Atheists are in the minority, yet they make all the rules when it comes to when and where you can have Jesus/Moses/Mohammed, (i.e. never/nowhere or they'll whine about it) 6. At least in Michigan, it's killing the economy. Don't believe me, ask a bar owner.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 8:33 p.m.

&quot;This will probably get deleted, because it does not agree with the liberal/progressive bent of,, but here we go... &quot; Don't you love strawmen! Uh, C.S., I hate to break it to you, but this is the same news company that endorsed George Bush -- twice! Hardly makes a2dotcom's owners progressive or liberal. Let's stop playing the victim card, shall we?


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

I love it when people confidently predict that their comment will be deleted ... and then it's not. So much for your persecution complex, I guess.

Jake C

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

I'll bite. 1-2-3) Marijuana &amp; heroin calm people, and propane leaks cover up smells, but those aren't legal inside bars right now either. 4.) Do whatever you want on your own property? Since when has that been a right in America? I think poisoning or physically harming people has always been illegal, whether it occurs on private property or in public. We've just finally figured got the political chutzpah to finally declare that smoke is harmful, which we've known for decades. 5) Most people don't care what religious symbols others use on private property (except maybe for super-gaudy Christmas decorations) they just have a problem with them being paid for with public tax money and being put up in government-endorsed locations. 6.) Huh, and I thought it was the decline of the auto industry, along with crises in both the nation-wide financial and housing markets that caused our long-term economic issues, both in MIchigan and in the country as a whole. I didn't realize it was just the fact that people can't smoke in restaurants any more, even though most bars &amp; restaurants say business has improved or stayed the same since the law went into effect! PS: Your post isn't deleted yet, so you probably shouldn't pre-emptively throw out some insults at whatever you consider &quot;liberal&quot; just because you disagree with it.


Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

People in A2 just can't grasp the concept of &quot;If you don't like it don't go there &quot; &quot; if you don't like it don't work there&quot;

Wolf's Bane

Sun, May 1, 2011 : 12:40 p.m.

Point 6: Actually, the reverse is true. The smoking ban draws more health conscious patrons in restaurants and bars while also contributing enormous savings to private and public health insurance companies across the state.