In Michigan
5:42 pm
Tue July 21, 2009

Mich. high court: Counties can pass smoking rules

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that counties can put more stringent anti-smoking rules in place than state lawmakers.

Courts have said only the Legislature can ban smoking in restaurants and bars. But local governments are prohibiting smoking inside other businesses because of secondhand smoke risks.

All seven justices on the high court said Tuesday that local officials can adopt stricter smoking regulations than the state to safeguard public health.

But the court split 4-3 on another issue, voting to uphold a northern Michigan health department's rules letting workers sue if they're fired for asserting the right to a smoke-free environment.

Dissenting justices said at-will employees can be fired for any reason in Michigan with some exceptions.