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Tue June 9, 2009
State re-starting stop-smoking hotline
By Rick Pluta
Lansing. MI – The state has re-opened the hotline that helps people quit smoking. It was shut down three months ago due to the overwhelming demand for free nicotine patches and gum. The hotline will no longer offer free smoking cessation kits.
Meanwhile, anti-smoking advocates continue to press the Legislature to ban smoking in workplaces. The state House passed a ban two weeks ago. It would outlaw smoking in all workplaces except for tobacco shops, cigar bars, and Detroit's casinos.
Vicki Rakowski is with the American Cancer Society's Michigan chapter. She was at the Capitol for the society's annual lobbying day. She says she wants the state Senate to amend the legislation, "make it as clean a bill as possible, meaning all workplaces, no exemptions, to be smokefree."
But Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says he's in no hurry to take up the bill in any form. Bishop says he wants to remain focused on creating jobs and state government's budget crisis. Bishop says he's also concerned that a smoking ban would cause some struggling businesses to lose customers.