Michigan - state smoking ban will be approved soon..

December 10, 2009 - The Michigan Senate has approved (23-13) a smoking ban for restaurants, bars and all other workplaces except the gaming floors of Detroit's three casinos.
Cigar bars and tobacco specialty shops also would be exempt. But smoking would be prohibited in the casino restaurants and bars.

The vote is expected to finally clear the way for final approval of a statewide smoking ban that anti-smoking advocates have sought for a dozen years.

Back on December 19, 2008 Michigan state lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a smoking ban leaving anti-smoking advocates bitterly disappointed and a new Legislature to grapple in 2009 with an issue that has wide public support.
The bill goes to the House, which earlier this year passed a similar measure and could vote today on the Senate version.

The Senate rejected an attempt to pass a total smoking ban that would include the casinos. The casinos have lobbied strongly against a smoking ban in their establishments, saying they would lose many smoking customers to Indian-run casinos that are not subject to a state prohibition.

Sen. Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks, who drafted the Senate compromise, saying it has the best chance of passing the House.

Michigan is one of 13 states with no general smoking ban, although the state forbids smoking in state workplaces.

Last month, anti-smoking advocates stepped up lobbying for a total ban. They say smoking is a health hazard to employees -- like waiters and waitresses -- in workplaces who are exposed to secondhand smoke.

The Senate rejected a proposal for an outright ban on smoking. It did approve exemptions for smoking in home offices and vehicles, which would allow truck drivers to smoke in their cabs. But efforts to exempt race tracks, bingo halls, millionaire parties and several smoking bars at Metro Airport failed.

Reference: Senate OKs smoking ban for restaurants, bars by CHRIS CHRISTOFF, FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU,12/10/2009.

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