No smoking at all in Michigan?

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

Smokers have been getting used to fewer places to light up.

Many bars, restaurants, and public places are jumping on the ban bandwagon, but in the state of Michigan it could be lights out everywhere.

The Senate passed a House bill that would make the state smoke free.

The idea of this scenario has set some people off. No smoking whatsoever in bars, restaurants, public places, even some casinos. There are three non-Indian run casinos in Detroit, so the ban would apply there.

Others say, a ban like this should've already happened.

This strict smoking ban bill goes back to the House for concurrence, and could take effect as early as July.

Smoking or non? It's a topic that continues to get people all fired up with or without a cigarette in hand.

Debbie Markunas says, “I like the smoking rooms and non smoking rooms.”

Dennis Grosse, owner of Featherbone Restaurant and Lounge in Three Oaks, Michigan says, “It should be driven by the marketplace, not by the law.”

Michigan State Senator Ron Jelinek says, “People say this is big brother, this is big government telling you how to live it and it is.”

Jelinek says he listened to his constituents before he voted in favor to make Michigan a smoke free state.

He says, “Somewhere in the low to mid 80's percent of people in Michigan surveyed say they're in favor.”

Joan Crumbliss, a nurse and an ex-smoker, says she believes it.

She says, “So many families have been affected by people who have suffered terribly because of the effects of smoking.”

She also sympathizes with her smoker friends and restaurant owners like Grosse, whose job is to make everyone happy.

Markunas says, “I'm not happy about it. I'll probably go out less.”

Grosse says, “Ironically, you'll find a lot of non-smokers on the smoking side.”

If this strict ban does happen, Grosse says business will shift out the door and across the state line to Indiana, where the ban is less restrictive.

Grosse says, “I think, ironically, in a state like Michigan that's struggling financially, to put that burden on us is just ridiculous.”

Senator Jelinek predicts just the opposite.

Jelinek says, “This may be good for the Michigan economy to see people who stay home because they're being chased away by smoke.”

Grosse says there should be a choice -- smoking on one side and non on the other.

He says, “Last time I checked, smoking was legal in the United States.”

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