Bars allow Smoking Inside in Protest Statewide

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

More than 400 bars and restaurants across the state let customers light up indoors starting at 9 o'clock. The Protest Private Property Rights organization says they want lawmakers to give businesses a choice.

"I would choose smoking," said Uli Kaczmarek, owner of Uli's Haus of Rock, "I was thinking about having one night in here so people could smoke."

Uli of Uli's Haus of Rock says his sales number have been down, like everybody else. A new study by the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association shows bars and restaurants across the state have lost 20 percent of their sales since the ban took effect last May.

"As a smoker, I stay home now and hangout out with friends where I can enjoy a cigatrette," said Uli's Haus of Rock customer Justin Bowler.

"It's a huge inconvenience to go outside especially whne it's cold and raining," said another customer Crystal Gullet.

Bars and restaurants that are putting out ashtrays New Year's Eve don't want to go on camera because that's enough evidence to get a call from the health department Monday morning.

"If we have evidence we'll act on that evidence. But it's not a cat and mouse game. We want them to be afraid, but we aren't going crusing for smokers tonight at midnight," said health officer Marcus Cheatham of the Ingham County Health Department.

The health department says the ban has an immediate effect in reducing the state's cardiovascular health problems. Employees that cannot choose a smoking or non-smoking job say they're happy to have the ban.

"I wish the ban was in effect the whole time I've worked here. I have asthma and can use my inhaler less," said Uli's Haus of Rock bartender Allee Kukla.

The health department says more than 70 percent of Michigan citizen's are non-smokers and in favor of the ban. Businesses that allow smoking tonight could face an initial fine of $100. Health officials will only fine businesses where a complaint has been filed and managers are proven to be negligent.

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  • by Disgusted by some Location: Lansing Mich on Jan 6, 2011 at 05:54 AM
    My thoughts are it should be up to the owners if they want to be a non smoking place they should. But I think they should be able to choose. If you don't smoke don't go to the smoking bars/restaurants. It is also your choice but smokers no longer have a choice. It's pretty bad that Government has taken away a freedom and are causing many small neighborhood bars to go out of business. Ask most of these people business is down 30% since the ban. Whether you smoke or don't smoke I think it is all about your rights to or not to.
  • by MichaelJMcFadden Location: Philadelphia on Jan 6, 2011 at 12:41 AM
    John wrote, "If 70% of the people support smoking bans, than allow smoking in 30% of the establishments." John, two things: (1) That 70% figure is a trick: It's usually gotten by refusing to give people a choice that would allow smoking in bars and clubs that chose to be smoking. When that sort of distinction is made the number demanding full bans goes down to about 40%. - - - - - And (2) Allowing *ANY* sort of comfortable indoor areas for people to enjoy smoking while relaxing with their willing friends defeats the real purposes of the bans: Social Engineering through denormalization. The bans are based on lies: lies about economic impact, health, and about wht people want. Google "V.Gen5H" and read "The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans" there and you'll see what I mean. - - - - - - Meanwhile, remember the law does NOT demand Vigilante Enforcement. Bartenders are simply required to *ask* smokers, once, to stop smoking. - MJM
  • by John Michael Smith Location: Detroit, MI on Jan 4, 2011 at 06:03 PM
    If 70% of the people support smoking bans, than allow smoking in 30% of the establishments.
  • by PlainFedUp Location: Michigan on Jan 4, 2011 at 05:36 AM
    I'm tired of the smokers continuing to whine. Oh no, the law gave non-smokers the right to breathe freely again when they want a night out! I do have some friends that are quite considerate smokers, but sadly I find the majority are selfish and don't at all care about the extreme discomfort of people, who don't partake in the nasty habit, all around them. You want to expose yourself and your own family to your harmful smoke, be my guest, but I will take issue when you continue to desire the "right" to impose such on me and mine. Do you all think that some magical force field of some sort appears out of nowhere in an enclosed space just because a "No Smoking" sign is posted or you're sitting in a "Non-smoking" section? Get a grip! It infiltrates everywhere, even with good air filtrations systems. The only "right" I feel smokers have is the right to pollute themselves, but I will never concede that you have the right to pollute everyone around you.
  • by Human on Jan 4, 2011 at 03:03 AM
    @Marcus: Pile of dead bodies? Please! Provide the pictures. Hey just steal them from history photos from the concentration camps...we're all too stupid to know the difference. There's only one intelligent thing you said in your comment: "we don't waste time going around looking for smoking." Smoking is still legal to do, harassment is not. I will say you do have a flair for drama...perhaps theater will work out for you if this job here doesn't pan out.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2011 at 02:58 AM
    Pile of dead bodies? Please! Provide the picture for all of us to see. There is only one thing you said in your comment that has any kind of intelligence going on and that is the fact that you cannot harass people. You cannot go out stalking bars in hopes to find smokers. Smoking is still legal...harassment never will be. Your flair for drama is quite impressionable...maybe you should take up acting incase this job doesn't pan out.
  • by Yeah Mich Location: Ohio on Jan 3, 2011 at 07:39 PM
    I headed to MI for New Years Eve as I'm tired of Nanny Ohio and it was time to get out and about as I do NOT in Ohio. It was wonderful MI. Keep up the good work and BUST those lies the anti's have documented as truth! Follow the money and learn the truth how big business gains from smoking bans while mom and pops starve.
  • by Pam Location: Columbus, Ohio on Jan 3, 2011 at 07:31 PM
    FINALLY, Marcus fesses up to the REAL reason for the smoking ban. It's not "secondhand" smoke. He said "all the dead bodies from smoking". It's about forcing people to quit smoking by the government of a product that is LEGAL. Why do you think there are no provisions for a warm, dry place for people to smoke? It's to FORCE them into the behavior the STATE decides is best for us. What next? Force us to be vegetarians? Marcus- this is faux pas number deux. Way to show your real colors.
  • by BanSmoking Location: Michigan on Jan 3, 2011 at 06:47 PM
    Bar owners say it their businesses; that they should be able to make the rules that patrons follow. If they want to allow smoking, it is their right to do so. Using that same line of reasoning, they are also saying it is their right to deny service to blacks, hispanics, Jews, Muslims, the handicapped, or any other group that they disapprove of. I am with keeping the ban; it is a health issue. The same science that says lead in paint, asbestos in insulation, and mercury in seafood kills also says that smoking kills. Even second-hand smoke. Keep the ban!
  • by Marcus Cheatham Location: Lansing on Jan 3, 2011 at 01:13 PM
    "We want them to be afraid." Who said that? Me? You say one dumb thing and that's your career! In general Rachel's article is fair and accurate. As she says, the Health Department only gets involved if there are complaints, and we don't waste time going around looking for smoking. We have plenty of other work to do. There is one simple reason that both conservative and liberal legislators support these laws: they reduce the size of the pile of dead bodies created by smoking. When they look at the data its clear these rules work. Not worried about yourself, OK! Think about all the other people who will have a longer, healthier life because of these simple rules.
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