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News Summary

Michigan to eat, drink smoke-free Saturday

Publication Date: 4/30/2010
  • Author:Kathleen Gray
  • Publication:Detroit Free Press

At 6 a.m. Saturday, Michigan joins 37 other states that have indoor workplace smoking bans. Most of the attention has been on how it will change the culture and success of Michigan bars and restaurants. Here's a look at the Dr. Ron Davis Smoke Free Air Law...

Q: Whose responsibility is it to confront smokers?

A: It's up to owners and employees of bars and restaurants and bosses in the workplace to tell people not to smoke, to post no smoking signs and remove any ashtrays.

Q: What if the smoker says no?

A: That's not an option! Tell him or her to snuff it out or leave. The bar/restaurant is supposed to stop serving a violator. If a confrontation escalates, the police can be called and the offender can be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct or trespass.

Q: What if the owner decides to ignore the ban and let people smoke?

A: First, a powerful message is to take your business elsewhere. Money talks. Beyond that, patrons can call their local health departments to complain.

Q: And will the smoking police come?

A: No. Health departments aren't staffed on nights or weekends, but most counties will have some sort of hot line set up to leave a SHORT complaint message. Complainers should not expect a call back. The health departments will be dealing directly with the bar or restaurant.