Michigan Indoor-Smoking Ban Takes Effect Saturday

April 28, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 5 COMMENTS

Effective May 1, 2010, smoking will be prohibited in most Michigan workplaces, restaurants, and bars.

The law, known as the “Dr. Ron Davis Law,” was signed by Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 18, 2009, and bans smoking indoors in Michigan “public places.” Under the law, “public places” are defined to include most places of employment, indoor areas owned by the state or local government, and privately owned indoor areas for general public use (e.g., educational facilities, auditoriums, arenas, and theaters). Smoking is also prohibited in food service establishments.

The law does have limited exceptions for motor vehicles in which work is conducted, home offices in which the owner/lessee doesn’t employ other workers, and certain cigar bars, tobacco shops, and casinos.

The person who owns, manages, or is in control of the public space is responsible for making reasonable efforts to enforce the law among patrons and employees. Duties include posting appropriate notices that smoking is prohibited, removing smoking paraphernalia from the premises, and refusing to serve persons who are smoking. Individuals and business owners who violate the no-smoking law will be subject to penalties of $100 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.

For more details on the law, check out Gary Fealk‘s article in the May 2010 issue of Michigan Employment Law Letter. Fealk is an employment law attorney with Vercruysse Murray & Calzone, P.C., in Detroit. You also can find information on state smoking laws that affect employers in 50 Employment Laws in 50 States.

About Holly Jones:
Holly Jones, Legal Editor at BLR--Business and Legal Resources, has written and edited countless alerts, articles, newsletters, and manuals on various topics of labor and employment law. Among the products she has edited areHR Guide to Employment Law: A Practical Compliance Reference, Fifty Employment Laws in Fifty States, Employers State Law Alert, and Wage & Hour Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR. Holly is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and a licensed attorney in the state of Tennessee.
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5 COMMENTS

1 Thomas Laprade
19:05:25, 28/04/10

Prohibition of a legal product has no place in our democratic country.

“Prohibition..makes a crime out of things that are not crimes..

A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our
government was founded.”

Abraham Lincoln (December 1840)

2 Michelle
08:03:49, 30/04/10

Then I say outlaw cigarettes…or at least the smoke from cigarettes. If a smoker wants to kill themselves that’s one thing (although it DOES effect medical insurance rates), but as we know it effects other people. Blowing smoke that others breathe is ultimately selfish and undemocratic.

3 Nae
11:32:19, 04/05/10

This kind of prohibition is no different than outlawing drinking and driving and other similar laws. Drinking and driving is dangerous to others. It is selfish and irresponsible to do so, and forcing your smoke on others comes under the same heading.

In addition, I have been burned accidentally by a smoker I didn’t even know in public. One of my children was burned by a blowing ash that wasn’t quite out (in a public park). Smokers should keep their dangers to themselves.

4 Laura
15:22:47, 05/05/10

Private property rights should allow owners of businesses to choose if they want to allow smoking. Some will, some won’t. Patrons and employees are not forced to patronize or work in an establishment. Free will and the availability of smoke free venues (yes – there are plenty business owners who choose to go smoke free) does not impose on those who are bothered by second hand smoke.

5 Barb
15:06:22, 08/05/10

Am I liable for the fine (hotel-front desk clerk) if a guest smokes in their room…Or does it fall on the owner?

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