The Smoking Ban
January 24, 2013
The Smoking Ban
Smoking is a popular pass time. At the same time, it also threatens the lives of millions of people, smoker and non-smokers alike. Smoking kills more people each year than any other disease. Smoking kills 2 out 10 people each year in developed countries. (PAHO, 2007) Secondhand smoke puts non-smokers at similar risk to that of smokers. Retrospectively non-smokers feel their rights are being violated. Smokers want to have a choice to smoke where they want. Smokers claim smoking is a legal act so why ban it? Forty Six million smokers make their own health decisions to smoke. However, the Environmental Protection agency drafted a report, in May of 1992, stating that second hand smoke is a carcinogen. Every state in America should address this problem on a national level and local level. Smoking should be banned from all public facilities. Several states have passed smoking laws making it illegal to smoke in any public facility. In California, it's illegal to smoke in a car with children under the age of 18 aboard. Other states such as Maine, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, and Arkansas have similar car smoking laws- with different ages that apply. Many variations of policies have been set locally to support a nationwide movement to have smoke free laws in every state. Among these states Michigan is also among these states jumping on board for smoke free environments.
The clean air act was established to protect citizens against harmful effects of smoking or second hand smoke. There are currently 13 states that have no statewide ban and simply rely on the clean air act to restrict smoking. These laws of the clean air act are very broad and may restrict per county but it is up to the state to apply specifics to their area. As Smoking has been a habit of choice for many Americans, laws and policies are set in place to protect those who wish not to be affected by second hand smoke. Michigan has been among many states adapting to the change. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill on December 18, 2009 which was put into place on May 1, 2010 where all public areas including workplaces, restaurants, and bars will be smoke free. The policy also states, unlike California and other states that you may not smoke on any patio of these establishments as well. Opinions of others feel that this is quite harsh as people feel they should be able to smoke outside on a patio at the establishment. The bill defines and explains all appropriate measures which must be taken in order to uphold the law. The sections describe actions for company owners to prohibit smoking in these areas and to also post signs around the establishment. (Mulder, 2010)
There are two exceptions to the smoking ban which includes cigar bars and tobacco specialty stores. Both of these businesses must file an affidavit with the department and await approval. The bill is very specific about what is allowed and what not allowed for these establishments is. For example, you may not smoke cigarettes in the cigar bar, only cigars. The second exception to the policy is casinos. If the casino was established before the bill was called into action then patrons may smoke in the facility. However, casinos that are established after May, 1, 2010 must be smoke free. Penalties of this bill are determined to be no more than 100 for the first offense and no more than 500 for the second offense. Food establishments that do not permit smoking as according to the law may not discriminate against employees who do smoke. (Mulder, 2010)
Below are a list of state and local laws that pertain to the United States and the participation of this policy. • Across the United States, 21,884 municipalities are covered by a 100% smoke free provision in non-hospitality workplaces, and/or restaurants, and/or bars, by either a state, commonwealth, territorial, or local law, representing 79.7% of the US...
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