Thursday, December 10, 2009

MICHIGAN 38TH STATE TO GO SMOKE FREE!


Today, December 10, 2009, the Senate passed and the House concurred with HB 4377 which bans smoking in most public places statewide. It is currently on its way to Governor Granholm’s desk to be signed into law.

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!

4 comments:

  1. how about if we dont sell food and just alcohol consumption. Could smoke under those conditions.

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  2. You should probably call the smoke free law information line, 1-866-59SMOKE (76653), just to be on the safe side. However, our understanding is that this law applies to all food service establishments, including those that just sell alcohol. Under the Food Law, a food service establishment is defined as "Food service establishment" means a fixed or mobile restaurant, coffee shop, cafeteria, short order cafe, luncheonette, grill, tearoom, sandwich shop, soda fountain, tavern, bar, cocktail lounge, nightclub, drive-in, industrial feeding establishment, private organization serving the public, rental hall, catering kitchen, delicatessen, theater, commissary, food concession, or similar place in which food or drink is prepared for direct consumption through service on the premises or elsewhere, and any other eating or drinking establishment or operation where food is served or provided for the public.

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  3. The same thing happened here in my country that a resolution has been passed that smoking has been banned for the public places. No one is allowed to smoke in the public place else he will be fined for it.

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