Here are some of the high (and low) lights of this historic legislation:
· The bill’s official title is “The Dr. Ron Davis Act of 2009”
· Under this legislation, ALL BARS AND RESTAURANTS will be non-smoking.
· The effective date is May 1, 2010
· The labor union exemption that was included in the original version of this bill has been stripped out!
· Tobacco specialty stores may be exempted provided they meet the following requirements:
o Their primary purpose must be the retail sale of tobacco products and smoking paraphernalia.
o Owners must prove that the store generated 75% or more of its total gross annual income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and smoking paraphernalia (meaning online sales DO NOT COUNT).
o This does NOT include any establishment with any type of liquor, food, or restaurant license. Translation: 95% of the hookah bars will have a choice – “Get rid of your food license or get rid of the hookah.”
· Cigar bars may be exempted provided they meet the following requirements:
o They must be in existence on May 1, 2010.
o Cigar bars MUST have an installed on-site humidor.
o Owners must file an affidavit proving that the cigar bar generated 10% or more of its total gross annual income from the on-site sale of cigars and the rental of on-site humidors.
o The smoking area must be physically separated and enclosed on all sides from any non-smoking areas.
o The cigar bar prohibits the smoking of all other tobacco products (no hookah, no pipes, no cigarettes, etc).
o The cigar bar allows only the smoking of cigars on the premises that retail for over $1.00 per cigar (none of those cigarettes masquerading as “little cigars”).
o You must purchase the cigar on the premises if you’d like to smoke in the cigar bar.
· Casinos are partially exempted
o Only the gaming floors of casinos are exempted.
o All bars and restaurants that are in or are part of a casino may not allow smoking.
· This bill passed 24-13 in the Senate and 75-30 in the House.
Although we would have preferred a comprehensive bill without exemptions, this is still a very well written bill and will protect a majority of Michigan’s workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
More importantly, this legislation passed because of YOUR EFFORTS. It was your tireless phone calls, visits to legislators, emails, and letters that kept the pressure up and ultimately got this passed. Enjoy this moment! We still have some work ahead of us, but are more than halfway there. We will be in touch in the near future with next steps.
Thank you, all of you, again. Now, go celebrate!