Smoke-Free For Six Months

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

If you've walked into a bar or restaurant in the past six months, you've probably noticed the difference.

"You can breathe when you're in the bar, you feel better when you leave, you don't have that smoke-hangover," Mary Sapienza said.

Sapienza is a non-smoker and all for Michigan's smoking ban. The Department of Community health said she's not alone, a new survey says 70 percent of Michganders support the new law.

"A lot of people are excited they don't have to go to a place where they can smell smoke," James McCurtis of the Department of Community Health said.

There are business owners who have never liked the law, and still don't, saying the ban is affecting their bottom line.

"I've lost about 20 percent of my business per month," Mike Ryan said.

Ryan is the owner of Auggie's bar in Lansing. He said smokers are simply opting to stay home.

"It's been bad in the summer, I can't imagine what it will be like in the winter when people are going out in 10 degree weather to have a cigarette," Ryan said.

Tom Burke is one of those customers.

"I do stay home more because I can't smoke in the bar," Burke said. "I enjoy smoking when I drink."

Which has created a problem for Ryan, and owners like him he said.

"In six months or so, we might have to close," he said.

McCurtis said as long as a majority of people want the law, the department will promote it.

"It's our job to promote good health and well being, and we believe that's what this law does," he said.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by puffy Location: local on Nov 23, 2010 at 03:20 PM
    176 bar/restaurant licenses have been lost since May 1st. And 63 are in excrow. This is costing jobs and businesses are closing. google PPPRM if you want the real facts. Most businesses will tell you they have lost 50 to 80% of their business. Give the owner the right to decide if they want to be a somking or non smoking business.
  • by Ex-smoker Location: Michigan on Nov 14, 2010 at 11:52 AM
    I think the ban is great. It is wonderful to be able to really smell, taste, and enjoy the food and drink you are served. They should have banned smoking in eateries and bars years ago! I know that I'll be going out more now that I don't have to sample that burnt, ashy flavoring that comes with the meal or drink in those establishments that allows smoking. And, I won't be carrying that smokers' stench on my clothes either!
  • by Lynne Location: Grand Ledge on Nov 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM
    For those of you that love the law because you can stay out longer and not reek of smoke, were you unaware that more than half of bars and restaurants were already smoke free. Why did you need to go to places where smoking was allowed. Just like to complain or maybe shove your wants on others. I am a non-smoker, but do not like these mandated policies, especially when it should be up to the business owners they are the ones taking the financial risk. If you didn't like the smoke you should have gone elsewhere, I did.
  • by James Location: Lansing on Nov 13, 2010 at 01:32 PM
    I am a non smoker, and I disagree with this law. Bars, drinking, and smoking all go hand in hand. I was never bothered by smoking in the bar. For me, it was just something that went along with being in a bar. This winter, people will likely stay home and drink so they don't have to stand out in the cold and smoke. It's going to cost the bars big time. It will also cost the State--less packs getting sold by customers on their way to the bar, and Keno sales will go down. Why not allow bars to section off their establishment with a smoking section??--I'm sure that many owners would be willing to build a wall to separate the smokers from the non smokers, and just put the workers who smoke in the smoking section of the bar if possible. There needs to be something done about this- People (including the State) are losing too much money and it's going to end up costing people their jobs and businesses will eventually close down because of this silly ban.
  • by Kristen on Nov 13, 2010 at 09:16 AM
    I now go out more and stay out longer because I'm not overwhelmed and sickened by the smoke in restaurants and bars. This is one thing our state has done right.
  • by DanaMena Location: Jackson on Nov 13, 2010 at 08:45 AM
    Michigan did NOT put the vote up to the people of the state of michigan - the legislature did it themselves! If they had this on the ballot, and it passed, I wouldn't complain!
  • by Chip Location: Flint on Nov 13, 2010 at 08:17 AM
    How about we do a survey on how many smokers have quit going out altogether? Oh, and can ya let them know when you conduct that survey so they can actually and factually respond?
  • by Traveller Location: OH on Nov 13, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    I find the fact that you didn't even get to vote on it interesting and the fact that patios are not exempted nor any motel/hotel lodgings quite a burden on your business owners. I do agree that these polls are quite biased and only provide cherry picked hearsay.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 13, 2010 at 07:20 AM
    To Paul: Auggies isn't the only bar/restaurant hurting...and no, it isn't JUST because of the horrible economy here! I know of many smokers who have said they will not be made to feel as if they are beneath non smokers. More and more "garage parties" have sprouted because of this new law...When these smoke free business's have to close their doors for lack of customers, you will be the one with NO place to go in Michigan, to get that "smoke free" beer...THAT is a fact!
  • by mark on Nov 13, 2010 at 06:54 AM
    To those who still want to complain about how bad things are...Go live in Haiti, on the side of a hill, with a piece of cardboard for a roof!
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