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Michigan Legislature Approves Smoking Ban

LANSING, Mich. – Last week, the Michigan Legislature approved a statewide smoking ban that contains exemptions for Detroit casinos and cigar bars, the Associated Press reports. Gov. Jennifer Granholm will sign the bill. “It’s a terrific gift to Michigan,” she said.

All bars, restaurants and workplaces will be smoke-free starting next May. Exemptions include the Detroit casinos, tobacco shops, cigar bars, home offices and vehicles. Last year, the Michigan Senate had passed a bill with no exemptions but the House quashed it.

When the governor signs the bill, Michigan will become the 38th state to restrict smoking in public places, said state Sen. Ray Basham, who has been pushing for such a ban for years. “We’ve moved the ball down the court, and even scored a basket,” he said of the passage, adding that he favors a total smoking ban.

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association opposed the bill because of the potential to put thousands out of work. “It’s our elected officials’ responsibility in this economic climate to pass legislation that helps all Michigan businesses, not just a few select business groups,” said executive director Lance Binoniemi.

In other tobacco news, Taiwan has plans to forbid walking and smoking at the same time in an effort to encourage a healthier and cleaner environment, AFP reports. The ban also would encompass smoking while driving a car or riding a motorbike. In January, Taiwan outlawed smoking in all indoor public places.

“We hope the new rules will prevent pedestrians, motorcycle riders and car drivers from throwing cigarette butts all over the place,” said an administration official. “It’s also for their own safety as smoking while driving is distracting.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Source: NACS Online

Michigan Legislature Approves Smoking Ban