In Michigan
2:12 pm
Tue August 25, 2009

Bill lets Mich. towns decide on restaurant smoking

LANSING, MI – A Michigan lawmaker says local governments should be able to ban smoking in restaurants and bars since a proposed statewide ban is stalled in the Legislature.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Gary McDowell would let each county, city, township and village decide if people can smoke in local bars and restaurants.

Michigan law allows only the Legislature to ban smoking in food establishments.

McDowell says the law should be changed because legislators will not pass a statewide ban.

The Rudyard Democrat had planned to testify Wednesday in a House committee, but his bill has been taken off the agenda.

Health advocates say customers and restaurant workers should be protected from secondhand smoke. Businesses say they - not government - should decide whether to prohibit smoking on private property.