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March 7, 2021
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NO SMOKE
(2007-01-31)
(wgvu) - MORE AND MORE PUBLIC PLACES ARE GOING NON SMOKING THESE DAYS. AND IF NEW BILLS IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE MAKE IT TO THE GOVERNOR---THERE'LL BE EVEN MORE.
WHILE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN MICHIGAN CAN REGULATE PUBLIC SMOKING TO A DEGREE, THEY CAN NOT CONTROL BARS AND RESTAURANTS. THAT POWER RESTS SOLELY WITH STATE LAWMAKERS, CURRENTLY CONSIDERING THREE BILLS THAT WOULD MAKE ALL PLACES WHERE FOOD IS SERVED NON SMOKING.
THE IDEA RILES SOME RESTAURANT OWNERS, CONCERNED ABOUT LOSING BUSINESS. BUT MARCIA KNOL, OTTAWA COUNTY'S TOBACCO PREVENTION HEALTH EDUCATOR AND CHAIR OF SMOKE FREE OTTAWA ISN'T BUYING INTO THE ARGUMENT. SHE SAYS THERE'S NO EVIDENCE TO BACK UP THAT CLAIM, AND IN FACT, POINTS OUT THAT JUST THE OPPOSITE SEEMS TO BE TRUE.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE OWNER OF JACKIE'S PLACE IN HOLLAND SAYS HIS BUSINESS HAS INCREASED BY AS MUCH AS 500 DOLLARS A DAY SINCE GOING NON SMOKING LAST YEAR.
KNOL SAYS NEARLY THREE QUARTERS OF THE RESTAUANT AND BAR OWNERS SHE'S TALKED WITH FAVOR SOME KIND OF SMOKE FREE LEGISLATION. AND WITH EIGHT MORE EATERIES ABOUT TO BAN SMOKING ONLY ABOUT 30 PER CENT OF OTTAWA COUNTY DINING ESTABLISHMENTS STILL ALLOW PATRONS TO LIGHT UP.
COME NEXT FALL, A NEW GRAND RAPIDS CITY ORDINANCE WILL BAN SMOKING IN PUBLIC BUSINESSES, EXCLUDING DINING ESTABLISHMENTS; WHILE NEWLY INTRODUCED BILLS IN THE STATE HOUSE AND SENATE WOULD END BAR AND RESTAURANT SMOKING THROUGHOUT MICHIGAN.
AND INTERNATIONALLY, A NEW LAW IN FRANCE WILL DOUSE THE SMOKING LAMP IN SCHOOLS, AIRPORTS, HOTELS, OFFICES AND OTHER PUBLIC SPACES TOMORROW -- NEXT YEAR, EXPANDING TO CAFES, RESTAURANTS AND CLUBS.

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