Michigan - smoking ban, established cigars bars can sell food and drink..

April 26, 2010 - Michigan's statewide smoking ban, which is to take effect May 1, will allow established cigar bars to sell food and drink, the state Department of Community Health (DCH) announced Friday, April 23rd. But the law will not allow any new smoking cigar bars; they had to have been established by April 1.

And patrons in cigar bars can't smoke cigarettes, pipes, so-called little cigars or any other tobacco products. Only tobacco-wrapped cigars that retail for more than $1 each can be smoked in cigar bars.

The smoking ban includes all workplaces, restaurants and bars and enclosed public places such as shopping malls, arenas and health facilities. Smoking will be allowed on the gaming floors of Detroit casinos, and at cigar bars and tobacco shops that qualify under the rules. The casino restaurants and bars must be smoke-free. The smoking ban does not apply to American Indian-owned casinos.

The rule clarification was sought by cigar bars that serve food and drinks. To qualify for the exemption, cigar bars must prove that at least 10% of their monthly income is from the sale of cigars and the rental of humidors.

"To fail to recognize how cigar bars will generate the other 90% of their gross annual income would be absurd," DCH director Janet Olszewski wrote in a memo Friday.
She said the Legislature intended to allow eating and drinking in cigar bars when it wrote the new law. Tobacco shops and hookah lounges can't serve food and drinks, according to the ban.

Reference: Cigar bars around Michigan get OK to sell food, drinks by CHRIS CHRISTOFF, FREE PRESS LANSING BUREAU CHIEF, FREEP.com, 4/24/2010.

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