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News Summary

Partial smoking ban clears 1st hurdle

Publication Date: 2009-05-21
  • Publication:Detroit Free Press

A proposed ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and other work sites got a new breath of life in the Legislature on Wednesday, encouraged by the state's leading physicians group...

Minutes earlier, a House committee voted 9-1 for a smoking ban that would exempt Detroit's casinos, and cigar bars and smoke shops statewide.

Last year, a smoking ban fizzled because the House and Senate could not agree on whether to exempt Detroit's casinos. But antismoking forces regrouped, emboldened by news that in North Carolina -- a leading tobacco producer -- the governor signed a bill Tuesday banning smoking in bars and restaurants, but exempting cigar bars and private clubs.

Still, a Michigan ban remains uncertain. Committee Chairman Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, hinted that he would pursue more exemptions for bars that restrict clientele to age 21 and over.