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Michigan eateries snuff out smoking before ban

Publication Date: 2010-04-01
  • Author:ROBIN ERB
  • Publication:Detroit Free Press

Michigan's smoking ban might seem unfair to smokers or another blow to a wobbling restaurant industry. But others see an opportunity to do what they've wanted to do for years: toss out their ashtrays.

More than 150 Michigan eateries have opted to go smoke-free since Dec. 10, when the Legislature voted for the ban. Some had wanted to do it for years, but feared losing customers to other restaurants.

The looming May 1 ban snuffs out any chance of that. Light up in any restaurant or bar and most workplaces, and you can be fined $100 for the first offense, and up to $500 for repeated violations...

The ban, which takes effect May 1, will make it illegal to light up in bars, restaurants and workplaces that employ more than one person. There are a few exceptions, including the gaming floors of Detroit's three casinos.

That means smokers will have to snuff out before walking into almost any business. Even outdoor patios at restaurants are covered by the ban.

Light up in these places, and you can be fined $100 for the first offense, and up to $500 for repeated violations.

Several restaurant owners who have gone smoke-free say the response -- even from smokers -- has been positive.