Michigan restaurant owners fume over smoking ban

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By Laura Fosmire
Jan.23, 2010

LANSING, Mich. — The reactions are pouring in: Some restaurant owners are fuming about Michigan’s new smoke-free law that takes effect May 1.

“The state has stepped in and said, ‘We know more about the hospitality business than you do.’ Many of them are very upset,” said Andy Deloney, the Michigan Restaurant Association public affairs director.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed the bill in December that prohibits smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants, hotels and other businesses. The only establishments exempted are the gaming floors in Detroit casinos.

Tribal casinos aren’t covered since state laws don’t apply to Native American land.
Ron Dufina, owner of the Village Inn on Mackinac Island and in St. Ignace, said that his businesses will suffer greatly because of the law.

“I think it’s horrible,” he said. “You already can’t smoke in the dining room or on the patio. The only place you can smoke is in the bar, and I’ve spent a lot of money making it that way. Now customers can’t even do that.”

But the Michigan State Medical Society welcomes the change. Gregory Forzley, who chairs the group’s board, said that physicians have been advocating a smoking ban for five years.

“The Legislature has finally chosen to act on it,” said Forzley, a Grand Rapids family practitioner. “That’s tremendous. It’s an important public health issue as well as a personal health issue.”

Dufina said that he’ll “end up closing” the Village Inn in St. Ignace because of the law. He predicts he’ll lose most of his customers to the nearby tribal casino, where they can still smoke.

“The whole Upper Peninsula is going to be hurt,” he said. “I can tell you I won’t gain customers through this law.”

Deloney said two major factors contribute to the anger and unrest among many restaurant owners.

One is the power of choice and control that the new law takes away from them. By forcing all restaurants to provide a smoke-free environment, Deloney said, the state indicates that it knows how to run their businesses better than they do.

“Eleven years ago, there were 2,200 smoke-free restaurants in the state,” Deloney said. “Now there are more than 6,000. That’s a 174 percent increase.

“They know exactly what their customers want,” he said. “It’s not rocket science. To believe that because there is no state law there are no choices for smoke-free dining is ignorant.”

Dufina said he is extremely upset with the Legislature and will take action.

“I’m a member of the Michigan Restaurant Association, and we have worked tirelessly for 15 years to make sure this didn’t happen,” he said. “I’m going to make sure our representatives don’t get voted back into office.”

According to Deloney, uncertainty is the other factor because the exact regulations and how the new law will be enforced have yet to be determined.

“There’s a lot of confusion,” Deloney said. “We have 45 local health departments. There are some places with overzealous enforcement, others with virtually no enforcement. They’re already understaffed and underfunded.”

James McCurtis, a communications officer for the Department of Community Health, said the state is trying to figure out the answers to those questions.

“We’re right now working out plans on how the enforcement procedure is going to take place,” McCurtis said. “We’re working with the Legislature and local health departments in terms of how we’re going to enforce it, and whether it will be local health departments going in there and doing inspections when there is a complaint or if it will be police officers.”

Michael Rogers, the vice president of communications at the Small Business Association of Michigan, agreed that restaurant and bar owners will have the greatest hurdle to jump when it comes to complying.

“The biggest challenges are going to be for restaurants,” Rogers said. “A large number of their clientèle are smokers. They have to look at their business model and, first of all, communicate to the customers what the law is and that they’re required to comply.”

Rogers said that the best way for restaurants to adjust is with extra effort in public relations and communication.

“Small businesses, by and large, do a pretty good job on customer service,” he said. “They’ll have to work extra-hard in talking to customers, making sure they understand when the change arrives and when the deadline is for becoming completely smoke-free.”

Rogers said that owners could find alternatives to lure customers, such as specials for happy hour, and that it will be important to give customers other reasons to come besides smoking.

Deloney said that the ramifications of the new law will even affect owners who already run smoke-free establishments.

“Say I’m a restaurant that already prohibits smoking,” he said. “I have a way of dealing with it, I have my own policy. Now if someone comes in and smokes, my own policy doesn’t count anymore. I’m now subject to state sanction.”

Restaurants that voluntarily have been smoke-free will lose that marketing advantage, Deloney said.

McCurtis said that the roughly five months the department has to sort out the details is plenty of time and he isn’t concerned.

“It’s plenty of time to prepare for it,” he said. “It’s a state law now, so it’s something that we’re going to have to impose and implement.”

In the meantime, it’s a waiting game for Michigan business owners.

“We are going to continue to provide answers,” Deloney said. “We’re talking with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Community Health and local health departments. We’re having conversations and answering and asking questions. Some of it is going to take time.”

Laura Fosmire reports for Capital News Service

© 2010, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Not to be reproduced without permission.

69 thoughts on “Michigan restaurant owners fume over smoking ban

  1. Check out who owns the Casino’s the bought thier way out of the Ban. It’s no suprise that it’s the chosen ones that now run the Gov.

  2. I am a 21 year ex-smoker, ex-drinker, ex-pothead, and ex-pillhead. With identification of people groups out of the way, I could have a lot to say about people respecting “my choices” and demanding I be given a “healthy environment” to live in. Think about it… no smoking… no drinking… no “legal” marijuana… no pharmacueticals or narcotics. The percentage of people addicted to these things and more, like gambling, is on the increase as evidenced by the increase in rehab programs, support groups and crime statistics. Oh.. BUT wait… there is the “fat” issue so many have talked about as well. So, in the name of community health, well-being, and safety for all, there should be a ban on free choice! Let’s have the government provide us with our housing, food, employment, education, transportation, spirituality, health, reproduction, and viability of life. Yes! Yes! Yes! Reprogram our thinking with a simple micro-chip and we can truly become one united… then we will truly be the land of the FREE!!!! (Note: Sarcasm has been added to many of the previous statements.)

    The reality of being able to live “free” means that I will have to place the principality of freedom above my personal desires, wants, and preferences. If I want the choice to be in a smoke-free environment, then I need to also allow the choice of someone to be in a smoke-filled environment. Rather than restricting people, the public’s desire for “smoke-free” environments should spur new business opportunties instead of demanding conformity by some while allowing the select who lobby to abstain. Free choice is a pendulum that swings both ways and requires cuts,compromises, and creativity so that freedom of choice continues to exist.

  3. i am a restaurant owner in sparta mich, well i thought i was an owner. it turns out that this has become a communist society. i am just allowed to pretend to own a restaurant. between the taxes and the over governing of my business it is obvious who owns the place. if cigarettes have been determined to be this bad then eliminate them all together.
    on the other hand i believe my restaurant will get busier for the smokers will have no other place to go that they can go and in my case i will gain several families that would be coming here if it weren’t for the smoke. in the end it will be good for business but i still do not agree with the over governing of our formerly great state!!!

  4. I laugh at all these Michiganders screaming bloody murder like this is the end of the world. NYC and CA both implemented these bans and life went on. The bars and restaurants that have been hurt were done so through the failing economy and not the smoking bans.

  5. Constitutional Amemdments regarding smoking ban that I found on the web… Interesting reading if you want to take the time…

    Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    Smoking is a freedom of speech i.e. personal liberty. Such bans are tantamount to precluding peaceable assemblage in that those who may choose to smoke would have to separate themselves from the assembly.
    Amendment V No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Converting private property for public use refers to using property for the benefit of the population at large. To wit: condemning land for the use of building a municipal government center. The property owner will receive fair compensation.

    If Government regulates the use of private property in such a way as will harm the profitability of a business located on said private property, or the fair market value of the property itself, and by such regulation declare or imply that said property is in fact public, it stands to reason that the government in the position of owing just compensation to the owner of said property.
    Amendment VII In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    In order to be compensated for business losses directly attributed to a smoking ban, business owners will have the right to demand a jury trial if such losses are in excess of $20.00

    Amendment VIII Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted

    Were a smoking ban to be enacted and said ban was violated by either the owner of a business or a customer of the business, such fines could be no more than a minimum fine imposed on any other minor infraction of the law. Further, any action taken by the enforcing body of the government can not be so excessive as to destroy the business itself. such action might be, but not limited to. Criminal prosecution, excessive fines, graduated fines, cancellation of food, liquor or other types of licenses or any other action that could be construed to be use of power to intimidate the private property owner or client or guest of said owner.

    Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The Constitution is indeed of the people, by the people and for the people. The passage of any type of ban is a “bad faith” activity. Local and state governments that pass bans violate the spirit and the intent of the Constitution. Such bans further pits the general desires of a specific group of people against the rights of the private property owner and the clients of said property owner.

    Amendment X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

    The rights’ of the people are always preeminent to the powers of the government.

    Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    A ban of any kind by its very definition is an abridgement of the privileges of the citizens. Bans create an inequality as they would relate to the protection of the laws.

    Amendment XVIII Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited. Section 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

    (The fact that this amendment was repealed I feel speaks to the fact that the government overstepped its bounds by ratifying an amendment that was unto itself patently unconstitutional. It further demonstrates how even as great as our Constitution is, it can still be held hostage when those who govern us lose sight of the true purpose of this document.)

    Amendment XXI Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. Section 2. The transportation or importation into any state, territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited. Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

  6. I just don’t understand why some of you think you have a right to a smoke free environment anywhere you go, we’re supposed to be a free country, able to make our own decisions about how to run our businesses. If you don’t like it don’t go! I don’t like the traffic that football games cause around my house, I don’t like muzak, I don’t like people drinking alcohol, let’s ban it all for my convenience!

  7. Your violating our Constitutional rights. You might agree with this right taken from others, but what happens when a right you agree with is taken from you??? Waa Waa? You want that kinda life? Then move to Iran, China etc….

  8. Most of you are missing the point. Nobody pays my bills for my business. Were supposed to have, under the US constitution, the Freedom of Choice…What’s next? You might agree with this particular issue, but what happens when it’s a freedom you want taken away from you?? I personally think all of you over- weight people should be paying more for your health care. You choose to carry additional “fat” that costs me highter health cost. Why is my state paying for health care for state employees who choose to not address their weight? We all should not have our freedom of choice for what-ever taken away from us. I think our states and Federal government have proven, more than once, they do not know what they are doing. The state is constantly raising the cost of my main product, liquor/beer.I happen to think over eating is a sin. I realize this is a sin tax, but what about those using expensive gas guzzling vehicles? Those packaging in plastic without recycling? The excuse our wonderful Governor uses to exempt casinos is lame…. If they fall under thwir own laws, then why do they have to follow Michigans Liquor Laws and stop serving after 2am???? She’s full of sheet. Were constantly being lied to. Like the wind turbines our state is going to pour billions into that will never take the place of energy plants. If your going with wind energy, give the grants to home and business owners for the currently Michigan made small wind turbins that are cheaper to run, they will provide more long term jobs, quicker than these monsters they are proposing.They do not require our grid to be upgraded and our utility payments stay in our pockets to spend back into our economy. I think some of our elected officials are on crack or are going to benefit personally in some way going in the direction they are going… VOTE THEM ALL OUT OF OFFICE!

  9. It was on the ballot It got voted NO but they still pushed it through. If you are going to talk about it, know everything about it.

  10. This should have been on the ballot, let the voters decide. Land of the Free? Not anymore.

  11. Everyone who supports this is brainwashed, even if you don’t smoke. Right wing taking over. Thanks for dictating my freedom. All these non smokers in heaven….great you people probably go up to cripple people dancing.
    I knew granholm was a nazi.

  12. P.S. Why not make it illegal to serve “greasy food”. There are bars I avoid like the plague because I come home smelling like a deep fryer. Again, those bars have a choice to stink up their bars with greasy smelling food. I’m not knocking them. I just don’t go there. Also, how many people out there only smoke when they drink? 80% of the adult population drinks to “relax”. For some a nice drink and a cigarette at the end of a stressful day go hand in hand. From now on. I’ll grab a bottle of wine and have a couple of glasses and a couple of cigarettes at home, where the Government (as of now anyway) can’t tell me about making a choice to do things that are perfectly legal!

  13. I know a lot of non-smokers that are happy about this and I’m glad. I’ve cut down on smoking and bought an “e-cigerette”. My problem with this is that If I were to pay 100’s of thousands of dollars to buy a bar, go through vigorous screening and fees to obtain a liquor license, and pay upwards of 100 K plus to obtain the license and then the state comes in and tells me that I couldn’t allow my patrons to do something in my establishment that is legal, I would be pissed! Not to mention that there are a lot of people that will grab a six-pack and stay home, which is going to hurt the bar’s and their business. Again, let’s just make tobacco illegal. As a smoker, there are bars even I avoid because they are too smokey due to poor ventillation or size. So, I don’t go to those places. Why not regulate the quality of an establishments ventilation and make it a health code violation if they don’t make the grade? The justification behind this law is for the health and welfare of the employees. If I don’t like to fly, I certainly wouldn’t pursue a job as a flight attendent! I just think a bar owner should be able to decide if they want their bar to be smoke-free, smoke-full, or a combination of both. Either way, bars will lose business, but in the end, it should be there choice.

  14. I think that this is a good argument but the statement that you won’t gain customers is also ignorant. What about people with asthma or pregnant women? You would perhaps see an increase in these groups of people. Families with small children could now go to more establishments…ect. I dunno, just saying…

  15. With 77% of all people no longer smoking and stats showing that 40% of all smokers being young adult that definetely means its time to ratchet up the taxes on smokes . If we get more than 90% of the people NOT smoking all the smoking bans would be a moot point. Stats show that Higher cigarette prices directly relate to teenage smoking numbers and the lower we get those numbers the healthier our people will be as we all grow old.
    The other point is that every other jurisdiction around us in Michigan save for Indiana now has a smoking ban. Its about time Michigan joined the rest of the world to help snuff out this filthy smelly habit.

  16. As Charlie said: AND THIS BEARS REPEATING

    “if you have that fourth drink, uhhhh hope you have a designated driver. What’s worse leaving a non-smoking food establishment or bar intoxicated and killing an entire family or saving your drunk self from smoke?”.
    Also what about selling lottery in bars? Isn’t that called (GAMING)? To conform to the new mandate!!! maybe the bars will have to stop selling and sending that tax revenue to the State, think about that! All bars should be able to set up their own, separate smoking rooms. The smokers will go in there when they want to smoke and go back to the (clean air) room when done. What’s so hard about that? Once again, Right On Charlie!!
    What makes no sense at all is to ban (private members only clubs) such as the Vets and American Legion posts. It’s their club, their buildings, they pay for it, and all members pay their own dues to belong. They should have the choice of a democratic vote club by club, they will decide, they are not stupid! They fought to preserve their freedom of choice. Yes, this law has gone way too far.

  17. For those of you who say “May 1st can’t come soon enough”. I question if you’ll have the same attitude when even more small businesses close down in Michigan. Haven’t we lost enough business, resulting in higher taxes. The State of Michigan will have to make up for yet more lost taxes. We will all have to pay the price, higher property taxes, higher sales tax and higher gas prices are just a few area that will be effecting the public. Congrads, non -smoker, you think you won… No you haven’t, you lost! You just haven’t realized how much the bar & restaurants pay in licenses and taxes. When bar owners remove Club Keno and all other Lottery games from our buildings, driving down the state revenue even more, pay less sales tax due to the lack of business, lay off people, placing more people on the unemployment line. Think it doesn’t roll down hill. What type of job do you have? Can you afford to lose more buisness with more people on the unemployment line, unable to spend money? At some point other business will have to cut back labor due to their loss of revenue. It’s only a public issue when it’s effecting every one else income and life style. It will become a personal issue when it effects you, your lifestyle and you’re employment. There has never been one reported case of death as a result of second hand smoke. If you do not like smoke, go to a non-smoking place. The State isn’t protecting you, they are removing you’re rights, your right of choice, your personal property rights. Wake up, this is not about smoking. It’s about Control! Wait till they start telling you that it is rquired to make you’re home 100% green before you can sell it, at the cost of $50,000.00. Tell you what kind of car you can drive, how many children you can have, what kind of food you can eat and how much, when and if you can recieve medical treatment. This is only the beginning Friends… Get off you’re high horse and use the brain the Good Lord gave you…

  18. May 1st can not get here soon enough! But what about those few smokers that have not vowed “not to go out to dinner anymore”, are they all going to be standing outside the front door smoking?

  19. This smoking ban comes as no surprise to me. The Michigan smoking ban comes on the eve of mandated government health insurance. This is no coincidence. The regulation of individual behavior via the government’s police power is a rapidly growing trend. The justifications for controlling any and all behavior that the government deems costly will be endless. Prohibing smoking in virtually all indoor environments is merely the first for obvious reasons: 1. Most people don’t smoke, 2. Smoking is notoriously unhealthy, and 3. Political backlash will be minimal. However, I would caution that such measures are really only the beginning. Whether one smokes or not, people should be leary of such regulations. Advocates of the smoking ban are right; the ban will be better for most people in the short-run, but once a privilege has been usurped, it is all but impossible to get back. The smoking ban and other similar bans taking effect across the nation provide a rationalizing basis for new regulations, i.e. we banned smoking because it is bad so we can ban other activities too. Once the intial “shock” of instituting such bans fades, less and less resistance to them will occur.
    Even though I would generally prefer non-smoking environments, I side with the business owners on this one. Many bars and resturaunts where I live are smoke free by choice, because that is what their patrons want, while other places allow smoking because 75%+ of their patrons smoke. Free choice is axiomatic in a free society. If I choose to start smoking, it would be nice to know that there’s a place I can legally go and do it.
    On a side note, I can’t figure out how a state like Michigan, which is functionally bankrupt, is going to pay for enforcing this statute. There are tens of thousands of businesses that this law applies to, and tax payers should be more than irritated that their tax revenue will be appropritated to this cause when other critical services and infrastructure in Michigan are in total failure. Maybe some of the 20%+ unemployed in our state can get jobs policing cigarette smokers in coney islands.

  20. I live in Marquette MI where we have had both a voluntary and mandated ban on smoking in restaurants. Those establishments that have a bar contiguous with an eating area, that have voluntarily gone smoke-free, have had little if any effect on their business. In fact, my favorite restaurant that has this configuration actually appears to have better business after a voluntary ban because people were previously avoiding it as their awareness increased.

    Yes, a legislated ban on smoking will restrict the freedom of some people to inflict their damaging bad habit on others. So be it!

  21. annual vacation to traverse city will no longer be. I will not spend money in a state that is going to dictate my lifestyle. I have lived in states with no smoking bans and have yet seen one enforced. Come to kentucky where we still have the right to live our lives without the government controlling every aspect of it. Next, will Michigan follow NY and ban table salt? A special tax on fast food? You know, there is no bottom to this slippery slope.

  22. I have to say this doesn’t bother me too much. There are worse things polluting this world than cigarrettes, but if there are people to complain of the topic, then whatever. Us smokers will learn to cope. The ban is getting passed in May, so it won’t phase me to have to smoke in out-doors. It’s actually kind of enjoyable.

  23. As a former smoker, now clean for 40 years; as a former fat person, now of more appropriate weight for 35 years; as a former binge drinker, now a sober social drinker for 30 years; I resent having to pay the cost to society to clean up after all those who refuse to moderate their behavior. It can be done, I am healthy, living proof of it.

  24. The legislators were pragmatic, realizing that a major objection was coming from the Detroit casino lobby, and caved in to that special interest. Whether the resulting legislation is imperfect or not, it is going in to effect May 1st and I, for one, am thrilled.

    As a former smoker, I find myself having to make comfort-and-health compromise whenever I choose to go to an establishment where really wonderful meals are served, but where smoking is allowed. Now I won’t have to make that sacrifice any longer and I will definitely spend more of my dollars in those excellent restaurants! (Although no dollars in Detroit casinos. If I chose to go to a casino, Windsor’s are smoke free and that would drive my choice, even though I would rather keep my dollars in Michigan.)

    It is also ironic that Michigan dragged its feet on this legislation while nearly all of the tobacco-producing states banned smoking in restaurants earlier.

    Again, this was the work of special interests “protecting the rights” of smokers, with the net effect that nonsmokers – innocent bystanders in the smoking issue – would have their right to breathe cleaner air stripped away. It’s great that people can exercise their right to make their own choices; however, when those choices have negative consequences for others, it is no longer simply a matter of INDIVIDUAL rights.

  25. The state hides behind the issue is health related,how can it be a health issue when you have as many people going through all the casinos in a week as many people going through bars and resturants?if they say it’s a health issue,then it wouldn’t be a partial ban.

  26. I work at a bar where we currently allow smoking and I am a non-smoker. I haven’t ever been sicker in my life since starting there. So you can say what you want about smoking being a legal right or freedom, but our laws are made to allow people their civil liberties WITHOUT infringing upon the rights of others. Smoke outside if it’s that big of a problem, I chose not to smoke so I don’t sound hoarse in the morning, smell god awful everywhere I go, and for my health.
    And some of you might say I should go get a job somewhere else, but really in this economy that’s not an option. Furthermore I don’t think I should have to choose between my health and my job anyway.

  27. You people are nuts that is like telling someone that you cant walk across the street people have just as much right to smoke or chew as you do to walk your dog you people need to remember that this is still a free country and people should not be able to have control over anyone but them self i am a restaurant owner and don’t believe that you people talking on here who don’t own a restaurant have any business discussing anything on this topic its not your business being affected you might think its no big deal but do want Michigan to get worse when small businesses like us close down bring it on people your wrong and you will see people have been smoking for over 100 years you have dealt with it this long deal with it.

  28. Most of you are missing the main point of this ban. It has less to do with regulating the hospitality industry as it does protecting all workers in the state. Restaurants and Bars are workplaces. The employees have little choice to be or not to be exposed to smoke and they should not have to choose between a job and a smoke free life. It is really that simple. A person working in a bar should have the same rights as one working in an office to be able to do their job without being exposed to smoke.

  29. its not ok for 500,000 no smokers to die because of second hand smoke. if restaurants can’t get costumers to come that don’t smoke, then they should go out of business. Only 30% of Americans smoke. That’s not a lot of business to lose compared to the 70% you might gain.

  30. Pingback: Bans in Bars

  31. I work in a bar and I cannot wait for the smoking ban to go into effect. Yea, at first smokers might not be too thrilled with the ban, but in the end, the same people smokers or not are going to go to the same restaurants or bars that they have always gone to….but now they will be smoking outside which will be better for non-smokers, and even the buildings in which they would be smoking

  32. I cannot wait until this little social test is done and over and the fascist politicians turn their sights to another freedom…this is not about health, clean air this is about the Government having control over every aspect of our lives because this won’t stop here….they wanted to see if they could get the sheeple to fall in line and remove the rights of a private business and individuals. I agree that smoking shouldn’t be allowed in places where everyone must go .. but a bar or restaurant owner should make the choice not the State!!!! If you don’t smoke and don’t like then don’t go to the places that allow it…..Have a sign posted…..Smokers Only.

    I find this so hypocritical….legislation passes where Cigs and tobacco products will be reviewed and Approved through the FDA…as far as I know it is legal, so I guess it is an FDA approved product….

    Regarding employees health…..I guess the employees in casinos doesn’t matter ? Casino gaming rooms are exempt from the ban. So don’t hand me this BS that is for the public health….. while you chow down on a tub of fat…..

  33. Ok Michigan we’ve allowed the legislature to ban smoking in public places. What’s next? Oh Yes they can tackle the obesity problem as well CLOSE all the fast food joints, restrict what the supermarkets can sell..(too much fat in that stuff). As for all the non-smokers, go somewhere else to eat and oh yes..if you have that fourth drink, uhhhh hope you have a designated driver. What’s worse leaving a non-smoking food establishment or bar intoxicated and killing an entire family or saving your drunk self from smoke? WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! this is only the begining..

  34. I doubt that “all smokers” won’t be visiting bars just because they can’t smoke. Does smoking and drinking have to go together? It would be very hard to give up two vices at the same time wouldn’t?

  35. I think it is ridiculous to believe that our government actually cares what is best for us. Yes I smoke. Yes it is dangerous to me. Second hand smoke has not been proven to have killed anyone. However, cars, trucks, 4 wheelers, etc. all contribute to our environment by polluting the very air they say they are trying to clean up. So why are they not banning the operation of motor vehicles? Money! Too much money would be lost. And why does the Native americans get to be exempt? Are they not inside the state? Need to fix that! 2 penny Jenny could do something more constructive, like getting jobs for the unemployed. How about that for something real to do?

  36. Well, I wonder where the cities will obtain their financial support, now that all smokers won’t be visiting bars. Wonder if the “smoke-free” drum beaters will make up the lost revenue. Can’t wait until the goody two shoers get pulled over for leaving a bar or restaraunt that serves alcohol so that the local authorities can attempt to get their “entrapment” revenue back to status quo.

  37. It sure will be nice to be able to breathe when you go out to eat and not have the awful smell of smoke ruining your meal let alone your clothes and hair reaking until you wash them. Smokers don’t understand, they can’t tell because they smoke, but when they quit and get their senses back thats when they understand. Then they know when they experience it for themselves.

  38. If an ashtray is all they have to offer, then those bars and restaurants deserve to go out of business.


  40. To Anonymous and others who believe that the smoking ban will clean the air we presently breathe. Check out “air pollution” on Google or any other search site.

    The “smoking ban” is like putting a band-aid on a severe laceration. Tobacco smoke is visible whereas other air contaminates may not be.

    If you could see the pollution in the air you take into your lungs when you are outside you may never leave your home.

    In the early 1990’s Audubon magazine had an article which stated that between 1980 and 1990 there was an 83% increase in cases of asthma in the U.S. During that same period there were 300 NEW chemicals released into the atmosphere.

  41. I’m sorry that smokers are addicted to nicotine. It must be terrible to have such an addiction that you can’t go anywhere without being forced to light-up. It’s a dirty, expensive and unhealthy addiction. But that doesn’t mean that your right to smoke includes a right to pollute the air that I breath. The claims that protecting the air from your pollution is a step towards Fascism are pathetic. Clean air is a right, not a privilege.

  42. You can bet if the Michigan Chamber of Commerce did not support this, the ban would NEVER have passed the legislature. The wrong lobby card was played here…

  43. This letter, from a non-smoker refers to all anti-smoking legislation.

    *An open letter that was emailed to all (103) Ontario, Canada political MPP’s in early May, 2008. No replies! This non-response reflects government without a sense of responsibility or a foundation for their actions!

    Betrayal, Anti-Smoking Message is Like Fascism that Preys Upon Our Children

    We must not look within ourselves. We may discover what we are becoming!

    Moral judgement is the mirror, mirror, on the wall image, always lurking in our mind, like an alter-conscience, prepared to reveal the frightening truth, in our soul, such as the undeserved vengefulness, at any cost, wielded against smokers. Even betrayal, of the next generation, becomes palatable within self-betrayal.

    This remorseless mental/emotional preying upon, our precious children, recklessly poisons their mind and spirit, under the government’s pernicious slogan “health and safety.”

    By supporting anti-smoking, we endorse and promote Fascism, an historically proven scurvy upon humanity!

    The inevitable shame, of our past actions, can still be averted, by rescinding this government agenda!

    The most”dangerous smoke” comes not from cigarettes, instead from the government smoke screen to obscure from view, that the real issue is Capitalism and science versus Fascism and politicized environmentalism, not ‘health and safety.’

    Science and politicized environmentalism are colliding worlds, science being the height of pursuing truth, politicized environmentalism the depth of distorting truth. Anti-smoking is part of politicized environmentalism and the attempted foundation of Fascism!

    Do we therefore side with Capitalism, science, Second World War troops and our allies– honour; or do we side with Fascism, politicized environmentalism, our enemies of the Second World War– disgrace? Thus far we blindly follow our enemies and disgrace!

    From the mouth of Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace, “It doesn’t matter what is true; it only matters what people believe is true…..You are what the media define you to be. Greenpeace became a myth and a myth-generating machine.” We deserve truth, not half-truths and propaganda!

    For any high ranking government official that lack this critical knowledge, they are in their office under false pretenses. They are unprepared to govern. Their present course of anti-smoking legislations is the proof of that statement.

    In the words of Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, “I was acutely conscious of the pressure to ‘adapt’ and to absorb the values of the ‘tribe’—family, community and culture. It seemed to me that what was asked was the surrender of my judgement and also my conviction that my life and what I made of it was of the highest possible value. I saw my contemporaries surrendering and losing their fire. Why was growing up equated with giving up?”

    Philosopher/Novelist Ayn Rand wrote, “If some demagogue were to offer us, as a guiding creed, the following tenets: that statistics should be substituted for truth, vote-counting for principles, numbers for rights, and public polls for morality–that pragmatic, range-of-the-moment expediency should be the criterion of a country’s interests, and that the number of its adherents should be the criterion of an idea’s truth or falsehood–that any desire of any nature whatsoever should be accepted as a valid claim, provided it is held by a sufficient number of people–that a majority may do anything it pleases to a minority–in short, gang rule and mob rule–if a demagogue were to offer it, he would not get very far. Yet all of it is contained in–and camouflaged by–the notion of ‘Government by Consensus.”

    ‘Rule by Consensus,’ (Rule by health care pressure group) is todays’ anti-ideology in government. Appeasement of these power-lusting, health care pressure groups is of higher priority than our children and all other tax payers, voters, and citizens. The permeating emotion from ‘Rule by Consensus’ is demoralizing, debilitating fear instead of an optimistic view of the future.

    Note this recent example, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he wouldn’t entertain a ban (smoking in cars with children) because it amounts to “too much intrusion into people’s private lives.” The logical interpretation of this statement is that the entire anti-smoking movement eliminates smoker’s individual rights, and has always been an intrusion into a smoker’s family dynamic. Now, the Ontario government is prepared, in predictable flip-flop fashion, to enact such a ban.

    In ignobility, many people have misaligned themself with politicized environmentalism, despite the fact that 1930’s, 1940’s, Germany used “politicized ecology and public health” to base its rationalizations. Are we predisposed to mistakenly mirror the historic footsteps of self-loathing mass destruction? No! Everyone has an individual mind and conscience, above party politics. Be true to them, follow your courage (truth) and dethrone your fear (fallacy). Rescind this government’s shameful anti-smoking agenda.


    Paul Watson – Environmental Overkill, (Whatever happened to common sense) – book
    Psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – book
    Ayn Rand – Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal – book

  44. Anti-Smoking Facade Crumbling

    The conclusions of the following information coincides with the fact that the Ontario Liberal government’s demoralizing, dictatorial smoke-free legislations make people emotionally/psychologically ill. Good emotional/psychological health makes physical health work, not the reverse.

    ‘Councilman James Gennaro is introducing a bill to ban smoking in automobiles if a minor is present,’ New York, August 15, 2007. Robert Madden, M.D., Former President of the New York Cancer Society wrote in The New York Sun, “He wants to control everyones behaviour. And he can’t, he can only try. These efforts are based on data, both old and new, on the effects of secondhand smoke. This data is scientifically weak and controversial. The most recent example of this is found in the 2006 Surgeon General’s report on the effects of secondhand smoke.”

    Also stated by Dr. Robert Madden, “To me the most offensive element of the smoking bans is the resort to science as “proving that environmental smoke, second-hand smoke, causes lung cancer.” Not only is this unproven, but there is abundant and substantial evidence to the contrary. It is frustrating, even insulting, for a scientist like myself, to hear the bloated statistics put out by the American Cancer Society, of which I am a member and the American Lung Association used to justify what is best described as a political agenda.

    ‘Medical Journal critcizes WHO for neglecting evidence, The Associated Press, May 7, 2007.’ When developing evidence-based guidelines, the World Health Organization routinely forgets one key ingredient: evidence. The medical journals (Lancet) criticism of WHO will shock many in the global health community, as one of WHO’s main jobs is to produce guidelines on everything from fighting the spread of bird flu and malaria control to enacting anti-smoking legislation. WHO’s director of research policy Dr. Tikki Pang said that some of the WHO colleagues were shocked by Lancet’s study, but he acknowledged the criticism had merit, and explained that time pressures and a lack of both information and money sometimes compromised WHO work.

    The actual result of the Liberal’s “pet project,” anti-smoking, is increased fear, anxiety, depression and therefore mental and physical illness. It affects smokers, their families, and other children whose minds are being preyed upon by constant government attempts to control their smoking behaviour.

    Anti-smoking is not only a loss of rights…it is the foothold of Fascism! Do we care?

  45. Just think of the money smokers will save not eating out anymore or going to bars because they are now criminals feeding an addiction that is still legal in the US. They will be able to buy more cigarettes to smoke at home this way I guess. The same for traveling. If they can’t even smoke outside, why would they want to go there? This has gone way too far.

    If anyone wants to do this right, tobacco needs to be illegal. Of course, government won’t touch that money.

  46. Boo hoo. I do not feel any sympathy for these restaurants that are complaining about the loss of business they will encounter. Like the post mentions above, I hate going to bars because of the smoke that I encounter, and the lingering smell on my clothing. Once all bars and restaurants go smoke free in May that will not be a concern. If your bar/restaurant is that great of an establishment, prohibiting smoking will not deter clientele from coming there!!! Plently of other states are smoke free, its about time Michigan becomes one of them

  47. Furthermore, Mr. Deloney’s information about the increase in smoke-free establishments pre-ban notwithstanding, there is no indication whether there is an equal distribution of smoke-free establishments throughout the state. My assumption is that most of the restaurants, bars, and taverns that voluntarily went smoke-free did so in places like Ann Arbor, Ferndale, and Grand Rapids, not St. Ignace. Without the information about geographic locations where diners could be sure of a smoke-free meal, his statements are just a bunch of “hot air.”

  48. What about the people who don’t go to establishments where people smoke. I won’t go to the bar or a restaurant where people are smoking. Starting May 1st, I will. How many people smoke compared to people who don’t smoke. This will bring more business to establishments, after the smoke clears.

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