State says cigar bars may serve food, booze


The state Department of Community Health says cigar bars can allow smoking, and serve food and drinks without running afoul of Michigan's smoking ban. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, the law takes effect May 1.

The department issued an advisory to local health agencies that are under contract with the state to enforce bar and restaurant regulations.

James McCurtis is with the community health department. He says the law has strict criteria defining what a cigar bar is.

"You know, cigar bars -- 10 percent of their sales have to be cigars only," he says.

And he says cigar bars cannot allow patrons to smoke other tobacco products.
He says cigar bars will have to file with the state for an exemption. Detroit's three casinos are also exempt from the smoking ban.

McCurtis says health agencies have also been asking about smoking in outdoor areas. He says the smoking will not be allowed on outdoor decks and patios that are attached to restaurants.