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News Summary

State public smoking ban debate reopens in Lansing

Publication Date: 3/18/2009
  • Author:CHRIS CHRISTOFF
  • Publication:Detroit Free Press

A renewed effort to ban smoking in Michigan restaurants, bars and all public places will get a hearing at noon before a House committee.

There's no legislation pending, and the meeting is meant to reopen the debate, said Rep. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit, chairman of the House Regulatory Reform Committee.

"We're going to do something and do it practically and reasonably," Johnson said. "I hope we can be on one page. I want to let the public know that this Legislature is serious about passing a workplace smoking ban."

Efforts to enact a statewide smoking ban fizzled in 2008 because of differences over whether to exempt Detroit's three casinos from a smoking ban. Johnson has said he favors smoking bans, but is concerned about the economic impact of barring smoking from the casinos.