Category Archives: Tobacco laws

Wayne County Shuts Down Bar For Violating Smoking Ban

In a first for Wayne County, the Copper Door bar in Westland was ordered closed Friday evening after an official with the health department saw a patron breaking the state’s year-old ban against smoking inside public buildings.

The bar was reopened Saturday. And so was the debate about the rights of business owners to enforce their own regulations.

Wayne County health officials insisted they weren’t picking on the bar, just enforcing the law.

“They have received several notices that people were complaining,” Wayne County Health Officer Loretta Davis said Monday. “They have received a phone call, at least two letters and a visit where an inspector issued a violation.”

Steve Mace, executive director of Private Property Rights Michigan, said he was working to arrange a meeting with an attorney and Copper Door owner Cindy Snider to explore her legal options.

“It’s about the fact that these people are being driven out of business,” Mace said, echoing critics of the ban. He said individuals should be cited, not bar and restaurant owners.

Snider said she was not at the bar when the health department official observed a patron smoking just before 7:30 p.m. But when she arrived nearly an hour later, she found her patrons gone, a citation for violating the smoking ban and a closure order for the bar.

“I was absolutely devastated,” Snider said. “My business is doing so badly due to this law. … I can’t even afford to pay the fine.”

Read the full article here 

For more info and articles on Michigan’s Smoking Ban click here 

Personally I enjoy going out much more since the smoking ban went into affect, but my dad hates. How do you feel about the law? Do you go to bars more or less often now?

If you have a question about Michigan’s Tobacco Laws call Samantha Moffett at (248) 624-5500

Ambrose Law Group







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Michigan Judge Rules On Smoking Ban

From the

A Macomb County Circuit Court judge today did not rule the Michigan smoking ban is unconstitutional, but he denied an injunction by the county health department, essentially saying it can’t collect a $500 fine from a Warren bar owner cited for violating the ban.

“I’m not granting the injunction,” Judge Edward Servitto told Jill Smith, a lawyer with the county’s corporation counsel when she asked about a civil penalty. “Sporty O’Toole’s, you’re not going to be smoking and drinking.”

It was the first smoking-ban challenge in the county with the ruling coming just months after a judge in the Upper Peninsula dismissed a lawsuit filed by a renegade American Legion post in Baraga seeking to bar enforcement in its tavern.

Read the full article here 

Read which businesses can apply for a smoking ban exemption here 

Have you observed restaurants or bars ignoring the smoking ban?

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Businesses Can Apply For Smoking Ban Exemption

Beginning May 1, 2010, smoking is prohibited in most businesses in Michigan.  This means it will be ILLEGAL TO SMOKE in places like restaurants, bars, shopping malls, bowling alleys, concert halls, arenas, and health and education facilities.   

Hookah bars, home offices, motor vehicles and 18 tribal casinos are immune from the smoking ban. Cigar bars, tobacco specialty retail stores, and the gaming floors of casinos may be granted exemptions from the ban.   Bars and restaurants can apply for certification as a “Cigar Bar” to avoid a ban on cigar smoking in their establishment.  The application requires that the establishment generated 10% or more of its total gross annual income from the on-site sale of cigars and the rental of on-site humidors 30 days prior to May 01, 2010.  The cigar bar portion of the establishment must be physically separated form any areas of the establishment where smoking is prohibited.  The cigar bar must also have an on-site humidor installed. Businesses that were considered a cigar bar or tobacco specialty retail stores prior to smoking ban are still required to apply for an exemption.  The affidavits to apply for an exemption from the smoke free law can be found at 

The smoking ban may end up being costly for business owners.  Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson reported that Oakland County has 4,600 establishments and the cost associated with enforcement would be approximately $1.8 million. Local health departments are responsible for the enforcement of the smoke-free law. However, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health, compliance with the law is the responsibility of the owner, manager or person in charge of the restaurant or bar. In addition, business owners are required to post “no smoking” signs at each entrance and in other areas where smoking is prohibited.  Ashtrays and other smoking paraphernalia from anywhere where smoking is prohibited must also be removed.  This all must be done at the owner’s own expense. 

If a business that is not exempt from the smoking ban allows smoking after May 1st, the local health department can be asked to investigate.  If the establishment doesn’t stop the on-going smoking, the health department can shut them down.  The fine for violating the smoking ban will be $100 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent violations.  The restaurant, bar, worksite, and/or smoking patron/employee can be fined. 

What do you think?  

Is the smoking ban an unfair burden on business owners?

Has the government gone too far in regulating?

Will the smoking ban create a clean atmosphere that everyone will enjoy?

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Update: Patterson Drops Lawsuit

The Detroit News just posted this update on the lawsuit L. Brooks Patterson was filing against the State of Michigan

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Oakland County Executive Says They Won’t Enforce Smoking Ban

Here’s a quick story from the Free Press today,

Oakland County says it doesn’t plan to enforce Michigan’s smoking ban that’s set to take effect May 1.

County executive L. Brooks Patterson told WJBK-TV he’ll sue over the smoking ban next week. Patterson says the law amounts to an “unfunded mandate” if county health departments must oversee and enforce the ban.

Patterson says the county doesn’t have the resources to enforce the ban.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm in December signed the smoking ban into law to make most work places, restaurants and bars smoke-free. The only exceptions are the Detroit casinos, cigar bars, tobacco specialty stores, home offices and motor vehicles.

A message seeking comment was left today with the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Businesses and citizens who breach the law will face a $100 penalty for the first offense and penalties of $500 each for any ensuing offenses takes effect.

What are your thoughts on the smoking ban? Do you think all counties should have to abide by the rules?

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