Campaign for Smokefree Air disappointed in House Bill 4377 exempting casinos and existing cigar bars

Last week the state House passed House Bill 4377 to create smokefree workplaces, with exemptions for casinos and existing cigar bars. The bill is now before the Senate. But smokefree advocates are less than pleased.

Past efforts to move forward to make Michigan workplaces smokefree had stalled over this particular sticking point, leaving Michigan one of only 13 states without a smoking ban in bars and restaurants. The new version sponsored by Rep. Lee Gonzales (D-Flint Township) allowing the exemptions passed through the House despite efforts to amend it to remove the exemptions.

The Campaign for Smokefree Air says it’s “encouraged” by the movement on the issue, but is still disappointed the bill doesn’t protect all workers from secondhand smoke exposure. The CSA is hopeful the Senate will pass a more comprehensive version of the bill.

The question is: Should Michigan stand firm on pushing for a no-exceptions smokefree bill– risking a continuing impasse? Or is Gonzales’ compromise the best way to move forward?

Or should Michigan simply continue to allow bar and restaurant owners to make these decisions for themselves?

Right now the Genesee County Health Department lists 324 bars and restaurants in Genesee County that have voluntarily gone smokefree in its Smoke-free Dining Guide.

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