Cigar Aficionado

Restaurant Patio Smoking May Return to Michigan

Smoking in the outdoor seating areas of Michigan restaurants has been illegal since 2010, but it will be reinstated if a recently introduced bill that is gaining bipartisan support is passed.

House Bill 5159, which was introduced by state Rep. Tom McMillin, a Republican from Rochester Hills, would grant restaurants the choice to allow smoking in an area of the establishment that is less than 50 percent enclosed.

Currently, the bill is being co-sponsored by 10 other Republicans and two Democrats.

McMillin, who is a nonsmoker, told the Detroit Free Press that many bar and restaurant owners have complained that the current outdoor smoking policy is "blatant over-regulation" that removes "the rights of the business owners to make their own rules on their own property."

Supporters of the bill, including McMillin, plan to gather in The Godfather Cigar Martini Lounge in Rochester Hills on Wednesday night.

In May 2010, the state's blanket smoking ban went into effect, prohibiting lighting up in most public businesses, with the exception of casino gaming floors, tobacconists and cigar bars.

"If the concern is all about the health of everyone...then we should stop selling all cigarettes and cigars products, not just the smoking of them in selected areas. A complete pack of misguided logic..... " —December 6, 2013 11:28 AM
"For anyone in the area, there is an event tonight (12/4/13) at Godfather Cigar & Martini Bar in Rochester to meet with Tom and discuss the bill --" —December 4, 2013 13:37 PM
"Bravo!" —December 3, 2013 16:26 PM
"Bravo!" —December 3, 2013 16:26 PM
"Finally someone gets a little thing called rights. Bravo." —December 3, 2013 10:31 AM