State Official Declares Smoking Patios At Bars And Restaurants Legal

Aug 19, 2013

Michigan smokers could once again have a place to light up at some bars and restaurants under a decision out of Lansing Monday.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture says outdoor smoking areas are OK, as long as employees don’t have to wait on customers in those spaces. That means no food or drinks - unless patrons are allowed to bring them in themselves.

Director Jamie Clover Adams says the state’s “smoke-free” law was unclear when it comes to outdoor smoking sections.

“We thought it would just be best to be straight about when smoking was not allowed, and that is when food is being prepared, provided, or served,” he says.

But the Michigan Restaurant Association says don’t expect smoking patios to start popping up all over the place. It says cutting food and beverage services in outdoor spaces would be too costly for most restaurants.