Dec 31, 2010
Pro-smoking lobby launches another misguided protest
The pro-smoking lobby refuses to accept facts, the will of the people and the law, and they have planned another ridiculous and vain “protest” set for tonight.
Another fly-by-night Facebook groups is claiming some bar owners - unnamed of course - will break the law and will allow patrons to light up after 9 p.m. tonight, New Years Eve. The pro-smoking lobby is clinging to the absolutely false claim that “60 percent of businesses”… are saying it has hurt their business and ... they're barely able to survive now.”
There has not been a single study that proves bars and restaurants are hurt by smoking bans. But that theory was reinforced here in Michigan when the Michigan Department of Treasury released a report earlier this month that found that overall sales tax collections in restaurants and bars were up 2.84 percent over last year. An increase in business not a decrease.
Not only did the smoking ban not hurt business, it increased it. But, even if it did, this is a public health issue. The fact that it helps sales is just a bonus.
The U.S. Surgeon General issued another report earlier this month on the dangers and harm of smoking and secondhand smoke, that said as little as one cigarette a day, or even just inhaling smoke from someone else's cigarette, could be enough to cause a heart attack and even death.
Not only does the smoking ban need to stay as it is, it needs to be expanded to include the gaming floor - the only exceptions to the ban - of the Detroit casinos.
So, if you see some inconsiderate idiot breaking the law, politely ask him to stop. If that doesn’t work, complain to the manager or the owner. If that doesn’t work, contact the Michigan Department of Community Health or your local health department or public health and file a formal complaint.
Bars that violate the ban face a $100 fine for the first offense and a $500 fine for subsequent violations up to the loss of their liquor license.