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News Summary

Advocates push to make state a smoke-free zone

Publication Date: 2007-04-05
  • Author:Kim Kozlowski
  • Publication:The Detroit News

Seventeen Michigan counties and two cities have banned smoking in public buildings, and more are contemplating following suit. Four local hospital systems have banned smoking on their campuses and more than 4,300 restaurants have taken ashtrays off their tables and asked Michigan smokers to step outside.

Advocates are now lobbying lawmakers to join them in the war against secondhand smoke, and ban smoking in most buildings in Michigan. One bill before the Legislature aims to ban smoking in public buildings, bars and restaurants and two other bills would ban it at worksites, which some advocates interpret to mean bars and restaurants. If the bills pass, Michigan would become the 26th state to ban public smoking, but advocates for a smoke-free Michigan will have to contend with smokers and business owners who vehemently oppose such a move...

But Don Haberman, owner of The Bosco, a trendy bar in Ferndale, says he wants to ban smoking in his establishment. But he wants all bars and restaurants to be required to do the same. His customers are among those who are asking for change.

"If people travel anywhere and then come back home, (Michigan) is starting to look like a dinosaur," Haberman said. "People come here and say, 'I love this bar but I can't believe you can still smoke.'

"It will be embarrassing if Michigan is one of the last states to ban smoking in bars and restaurants."