Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Michigan Passed Smoking Ban Law

Michigan has just passed a law that bans smoking in the workplace, including restaurants and bars on December 10. Michigan follows 37 states to pass this law, which will go into effect on May 1, 2010.

The law prohibits workers smoking in almost all the workplaces, even in bars and restaurants. There are also some exceptions, such as tobacco specialty stores and cigar bars. Home offices and motor vehicles are also allowed to smoke, even motor vehicles used for work. Michigan joins with other states including New York, California and Illinois to implement the smoking ban.

According to the new law, smoking will be permitted on the gambling floor of the Detroit-area casinos, but in the casino bars, restaurants and hotels the smoking is not allowed. When the bill was signed by the governor, Michigan became the 38th state to ban smoking in public places including government buildings, bars and restaurants. Senator RAY Basham of Taylor fights for a total smoking ban. He said, “We are moved the ball down the court, and even scored a basket.”

In the state Senate, the bill passed by a vote of 24 to 13. In the Michigan House, it passed by a vote of 75 to 30. 66% of Michiganders supported a smoking ban in a March 2009 survey.


snowbird said...

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans are symptoms of a far more grievous threat, a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved – the cancer of unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or is in fact just a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: If it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than trying to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and offices – places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Smokers are a numerical minority, practising a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.

Thomas Laprade
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258

A. S. Wagner said...

Actually, this ban won't make much of a difference since so many smokers are just smoking whitecloudecigoutlet.com regardless of the smoking bans.

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