Still No Smoking Ban In Michigan

A smoking ban bill that cleared the Michigan House earlier this week seems to have stalled in the Senate.  The bill would ban smoking in restaurants, bars, and other workplaces.

The Democrats tried to send the bill to the Health Policy Committee, where the Republican chair, Dr. Tom George (R-Kalamazoo) supports the ban; instead, the bill was sent to the Government Operations and Reform Committee, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester).  Dr. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw) who also supports the ban, voted to send it to Bishop’s committee in order to respect the Majority Leader’s wishes of sending the bill where he wanted to.

If all 17 Democratic Senators, plus George and Kahn vote for the bill, Lt. Governor Don Cherry could cast the tie-breaking vote for it, and Governor Granholm would be expected to sign it into law.

Here are my thoughts: Do I support THIS ban?  No.  Would I support an initiative brought up by the people?  Yes.  I just don’t see a smoking ban as something the government needs to get into.  If you don’t like smoke, don’t go to a restaurant where there’s smoke.  People argue that with the second hand smoke, “It’s unhealthy for my kids in those restaurants.”  Yeah, well, the food that they’re eating there probably isn’t as healthy as a well-cooked organic meal that you could eat back home either.  On the other side, many people say that it’d be bad for businesses and the economy.  I don’t buy this though (for bars, yes, but for most restaurants, no).  I know quite a few smokers (even most of my extended family) and they can all go out to dinner and not have a cigarette for 2 hours (if you NEED one, then go outside, or get one of those Nico-patch thingies).  As well, last time I checked, McDonald’s and Burger King weren’t going out of business, and you can’t smoke there.

So – I think Michigan should be smoke free, but if it’s so important like people are now complaining that it is, then go out, draft a bill, get the signatures and get it on the November ballot.  THEN I’ll vote for it.

(It should be noted that there are many Senators who don’t think the bill is completely dead yet, but that it would stand a better chance in the Health Policy Committee, so I’ll keep you updated on this story).

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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18 Responses to “Still No Smoking Ban In Michigan”

  1. Michigan Health Insurance Says:

    I think this whole anti smoking thing has gone a little overboard lately. Next thing you know it will be illegal to smoke in your own house.

  2. Allan Says:

    Interesting post, especially since albeit that I’m not a Michigan resident(I live in Illinois), I do agree with your thoughts about being against a statewide smoking ban.

    I’m somewhat puzzled why in the world you’re not being consistent with that thought, and that you would vote for a statewide ban if enough signatures were gathered for a statewide ballot question, especially since I am of the belief that when it comes to private businesses, ONLY the owners of such businesses should be making that call, and NOT the government. There’s no doubt in my mind that if I were a Michigan resident, I would definitely vote against a statewide ballot question on this issue.

    BTW, I should note two things before ending this post: 1) I’m only an occasional smoker who doesn’t smoke everyday. 2) In addition, I’m a FULL supporter of smoking bans, but only in TRULY public places where both smokers and non-smokers have no choice but to both use together, such as in government buildings, public transit vehicles, school and college buildings, to name some examples. It frightens me to death that a vocal minority of non-smokers always press for such bans, only to impose their hateful views over smokers, and that they’ve NEVER ONCE been about health reasons.

  3. inkslwc Says:

    I guess it probably depends on the initiative – and I spoke a little too soon. I’d have to see what all it would affect – but I do agree that most businesses should have freedom in this area.

    On the other hand, I doubt that an initiative would ever get the signatures needed, let alone the votes needed to pass in Michigan.

  4. Julie Says:

    Of course Michigan Health Insurance would be for smoking in public areas. They make money off of peoples illnesses which smoking causes. And to think that banning smoking would lead to banning smoking in your own home is ridiculous. Its like that fear that legalizing gay marriage would lead to people marrying animals. We don’t care what you do in your own home. You can do whatever you want to do to hurt youself in your own home. I’ve lived in MI for 14 years and smoked for 2 years and quit. I moved to DC and smoking just got banned in all public areas which is good because why should I have to stay home everynight and not be able to go out to a dance club if I want to and not inhale a pack’s worth of cigarette smoke that night. Also when I went to a club some idiot with a cigarette would always burn my arm with her cigarette as she walked by me as I yelped and not even one “Im sorry”.But realistically, Detroit probably will not ban smoking because they have bigger things to worry about like not getting mugged or shot or finding a decent job.

  5. inkslwc Says:

    I agree that it should be banned in public places, but restaurants are not public. And if an owner wants to allow smoking, then he should be able to, just like he should be able to ban it. The government can’t just step into businesses’ affairs like this.

    And you’re right, Michigan will never do it via initiative. Why? We’re a middle class unionized state. I’m not trying to stereotype here, but the fact is that the average Joe is more likely to smoke than some rich guy (unless it’s cigars we’re talking about – but nobody smokes a pack of cigars a day).

  6. Chris P. Says:

    In response to “inkslwc” dated 1/28/08: How can you say restuarants are not public places? If the public did not patronize these businesses, they would not be in business. Restuarants need to be smoke free for the customers and the employees. I do, however, think that small neighborhood bars should be exempt from a statewide ban.

  7. inkslwc Says:

    Because you have the choice of which restaurant to go to – you don’t HAVE to eat there. You do have to walk along the sidewalk to get to work however – these places aren’t government owned is what I mean by not public.

  8. Varga Says:

    It’s wrong for the government or any group to impose restrictions on any business owner whose patrons are participating in legal activities. Period. It’s up to the owner to decide.

    Why is it that non smokers want to go to establishments where smoking is allowed and then they find the smoke offensive? Are there not any cool “smoke free” establishments (bars – restaurants) that make any money? Is there an untapped business opportunity? …
    Please non smokers go into business and show us smokers how wrong we are to operate a smoking allowed establishment….

  9. Michael Says:

    As a healthcare consultant who has recently relocated to Michigan to work on Medicaid compliance, I am quite surprized to hear residents more concerned with property rights of a few restaurateurs and bar owners than the physical and financial health of the greater state population. Simply put, smoking kills and maims, directly and indirectly. Costs for the state to care for smoking related illnesses, of which there are many, are in the 100’s of millions. Far more than the tax revenues of the businesses clinging to the antiquated notion that we have to accomodate person’s unwillingness to treat their nicotine addiction. I won’t touch on indirect costs of increased respiratory disorders for non-smokers breathing secondary hand smoke, or lost productivity from smoking related illnesses. As more states impose, yes impose on a minority of their populations, a statewide smoking ban, they are recognizing improved business activity from the non-smokers in their states who now enjoy going out more often without the encountering the toxicity of cigarette smoke. I am always impressed to find so many pro-business Republicans who profess to understand the state’s fiscal matters continue to undermind its financial integrity and its allure to business developers interested in coming to Michigan with their short-sightedness, from a Republican led ban on driver’s licences to non-residents to now, an effort to overturn a statewide ban on smoking.

  10. inkslwc Says:

    I’m all for a smoking ban in public places – it’s public air, so we shouldn’t be doing something that harms others in public places. If you want to smoke – go to somewhere where the air is privately owned.

  11. Samantha Says:

    As a High School student, I’ve seen what smoking has caused. No matter what people say to make it sound like it’s okay to smoke in public places, it’s not. Smoke can get into lungs directly and indirectly. It may not be as effective indirectly, but it sure does make a difference. You go to a resteraunt to eat, not smoke. Can adults really not control themselves for an hour or two without smoking? It’s public air no matter how you look at it and the law says that you’re allowed to do whatever you want with it as long as you don’t bring harm to others…but it does bring harm. If someone told me to go to a resteraunt where it’s smoke free, that would limit my choices. There are so many other places you could smoke and not bother somebody, so why MUST people this that they HAVE to smoke during a meal? I can see why some people support smoking at bars but it just gets to me how people think there is nothing wrong with smoking in resteraunts or other public places where people and family could be at.

  12. inkslwc Says:

    I agree that you shouldn’t smoke in public places, but restaurants are private places. I would LOVE it if restaurants themselves (like McDonald’s ironically) banned smoking, but I can’t justify forcing that decision on them.

  13. Michigan Senate Passes Ban on Smoking in Restaurants, Bars, and Casinos « Republican Ranting Says:

    […] 4163, sponsored by Brenda Clack (D-Flint).  I first brought you a story on the smoking ban back in December.  The bill, entitled, “Public health code” would ban smoking in restaurants, bars, and […]

  14. Mason Says:

    The only people who don’t like the ban on smoking are the smokers. Can anyone tell me that they wouldn’t enjoy their meal better if they weren’t surrounded by the second hand smoke?

  15. StoutMedia Says:

    University Wisconsin stout polytechnic Considers Campus Smoking ban
    indoors and outdoors cross campus.

    article here:

  16. John Dawson Says:

    I have something to add that I feel just makes sense. Most bars and restaurants have smoke eaters. When these machines are utilized the air quality is usually better inside than the air outside.
    I guess it’s just easier to throw certain citizens under the bus because some individuals spend their life ticked off.
    Oh and last but not least, (a simple question) How many million of dollars has the anti smoking campaign generated. I’m thinking it really has nothing to do with smoking.
    These groups always do the same thing, fire people up, then start gathering money. After this it’s on to banning something else.

  17. Jackie Says:

    Well the ban has passed effective the 1st of May.. And I agree that people have the right to go somewhere with out dealing with my second hand smoke but where is my right to be allowed to smoke? I am totally for it to be effective for restuarants but why bars? I am sorry but if you are offended by smoke you are probably offended by a lot of things that happen in a bar anyways so why go there? Why force everyone else not to smoke? Yes this comes from someone who is a smoker and a bar goer and a bar OWNER! And yes I believe government should not be allowed to tell me how to run my bar. But once again we are being told what to do and how to do it.. It won’t be long and we will be under complete dictatorship again!! It’s crap as far as I am concerned. And I personally would love to know as bar owners what we can do to overturn this ban! I think it’s gonna hurt many small local pubs especially in the are that I live in.

  18. ecig Says:

    where to buy electronic cigarette…

    Still No Smoking Ban In Michigan « Republican Ranting…

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