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Thoughts For Thursday – I love the Smoking Ban in Michigan!

May 13, 2010 · 12 comments

in Thoughts For Thursday

May 1st was a day of great celebration for me.  It was the day that Michigan went smoke-free in public places, except casinos.

Can you hear me still cheering?  That means that smoking is banned not only restaurants, but hotels and other places too.  We have several asthmatics in the family and I can’t tell you how many restaurants we have avoided over the years because of the smoke.  The very first night, my son and I went to a Red Lobster restaurant and my son said  ‘Notice how you can’t smell any smoke in here?  It is great!’.  We have been to a few places since, and it has been so nice to walk out of a restaurant and not have to take a shower when I got home.

I was very curious to see what the general reaction of the public would be after the ban took effect.   The Monday following, I was listening to a local radio station that I knew would be discussing the new Smoking Ban.  The DJs, who I normally enjoy, were discussing how we are all losing our rights, asking ‘what will be next?’, etc.  One person called in and said that he was allergic to cigarette smoke and the DJs were jumping all over him, saying ‘Oh, so we should have laws to make you happy? ‘ and ‘why should we have laws that protect such a small proportion of society?’.    Well, big news:  Second-hand cigarette smoke is not healthy for ANYONE.  It may be a small percentage of society that reacts to cigarette smoke, but second-hand smoke is unhealthy for 100 percent of the population.  (According to the Mayo Clinic, toxins in second-hand smoke can cause Asthma, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, and more.)  It just doesn’t make sense to me that people feel it is taking away their rights by outlawing smoking in public places.   There is a way greater percentage of the population that has their right’s infringed upon by having to inhale second-hand smoke while eating dinner in a restaurant.

I do recognize that some fear that the smoking ban will negatively affect Michigan’s economy, which is already in such a sorry state.  I am anxious to see any reports that may come out in the future to see if  businesses overall actually did better.  I know myself and others will now go to places that we haven’t set foot in for years, or even decades.  I heard on the radio that some bars were reported almost empty the first night of the ban, but from articles I have read, that usually just lasts a couple weeks or so.  Whereas I don’t want businesses to go bankrupt because of the smoking ban, I cannot tell you how glad I am that the law has been enacted.

What do you think?  Is smoking in public places allowed where you live?  If it has been banned, did it hurt your state’s economy?  Feel free to leave a comment!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 13, 2010 at 9:48 am

Smoking was banned in Houston, but we live about 2 miles beyond Houston city limits, so some places around us like bars still allow smoking. But, most of the restaurants banned it anyway. I’m so happy since I also have asthma. We drove the extra 10-20 minutes to get to the non-smoking restaurants but now we can support local places. I’m really happy!

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Kris May 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

BFS- I didn’t know they banned smoking sometimes at the ‘city’ level.

We have a lot of ‘coney islands’ here in Michigan. I know most of the country doesn’t have these or know what they are, but they are little restaurants that serve coney dogs, burgers, etc. They have been notoriously smoky. Some even installed giant smoke suckers to help keep the air cleaner. Of course, half the time the smoke suckers were turned off for some reason. Anyway, I am so glad I can now go into any coney and enjoy a meal. I am going to gain 100 pounds!!!

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff May 13, 2010 at 11:37 am

We have James Coney Islands here too. Pretty good chili and awesome dogs. 🙂

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Young Mogul May 13, 2010 at 10:45 am

I was wondering where my smoking comment was, until I realized I commented on the wrong post. *DUH!*

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Divine and Debt Free May 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I was so excited about the ban and it allows me to also go into places I wouldn’t normally frequent due to the issue.

Personally I tend to look at the brighter side, If I was a smoker I would open up a cigar shop like YESTERDAY to cater to those smoking people.

secondly It may not help bars as much but it will certain over time generate more business for restaurants, because the people who can’t deal with smoke can now frequent those places.

My co-workers mother is a smoker, and she said she drove to mount pleasant to play bingo and smoke because the casino is on the reservation and they dont have to abide by certain laws. I thought to myself wow the things people will go through.

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Kris May 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Divine- I have been just loving the restaurants here in Michigan, which I am assuming is where you live too as I was just in Mount Pleasant a couple weeks ago. (Not at the casino though.)

The biggest downside to the smoking ban is walking through the gauntlet of smokers that stand just outside the entrance to different establishments. Now I think they need to work on a ’50 foot rule’ or something.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Mike - Saving Money Today May 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

New Jersey passed that law a few years ago and I love it too. No more coming home smelling like smoke!

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bad credit car loans michigan April 22, 2011 at 6:06 am

Thank you for your very nice message and reply message from you.

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Kathy October 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

A year and a half later and I still expect the host at a restaurant to ask “Smoking or non-smoking?”

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Kris October 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Kathy- I find myself still saying ‘5 for non-smoking’. Then I have to smack myself.

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