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A Comment on the Smoking Ban

December 18, 2009

On Mid-Michigan Dining, I lobbied very hard for a smoking ban and I got spammed with a lot of anti-ban folks.  While the increased hits were nice, it raised my blood pressure, so I haven’t really said much about it on SW Michigan Dining.

Today, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed the bill into law at MBC in downtown Lansing. 

Michigan has become the 38th state to limit smoking in public places.

[snip]

It applies to all bars, restaurants and work places, except for the Detroit casinos, cigar bars, tobacco specialty stores, home offices and motor vehicles.

All I can say is “thank you!”  I’m not a smoker.  Never was a smoker.  Never tried a cigarette.  It’s never appealed to me.  If you want to smoke, that’s you’re prerogative, but the deal with smoking is, your smoke affects me.  It’s always amazed me just how rude most (not all) smokers are.  It’s a sad commentary on society when smoking actually has to be banned in public places because people think their personal enjoyment is more important than the enjoyment of those around them.   It’s the “me, me, me” attitude that America is most famous for. 

I expect a few people to get upset by this and try to convince me it’s infringing on their rights.  To that, I say, you should feel fortunate that governments try to balance the budget on your backs.  If it wasn’t for the income, cigarettes would most likely be illegal all together.

Now, as for the bars going out of business.  I don’t buy it.  Never have.  I lived in Illinois where smoking was banned.  Never did I hear of a bar going out of business after the ban….including after some local bans before the statewide ban was passed.  Bars that served food actually saw an increase in business immediately following the ban.  Taverns tend to ignore the smoking ban, and for the most part, get away with it.  In Illinois, it takes a complaint for any action to be taken. 

We’ll see how the Michigan ban plays out.  I, for one, am excited about it.  It’s a good step for a state that seems so far behind the rest of the country at times.

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