Press Release – MDCH Director Urges Smoking Ban Passage

15 12 2008

From an Michigan Department of Community Health press release –

MDCH Director Urges State Legislature to pass Smoke-Free Law

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is once again
strongly encouraging the Michigan State Legislature to pass a law
banning second hand smoking in public places including restaurants and
bars. While attempting to reach a compromise, the state Legislature
recently pondered the idea of allowing businesses to avoid the ban by
buying a special permit.

“While compromise may be needed, the state Legislature must protect
its citizens from second hand smoke,” said MDCH Director Janet
Olszewski. “Michigan needs a strong, firm, concrete law that outright
bans smoking in public places. Allowing businesses to buy their way out
of the law would be unacceptable and unfair to Michigan residents.”

Second hand smoke is the third leading preventable cause of death and
when smoking occurs in the workplace, employees find they are exposed to
cancer causing substances all day long. Research has shown that tobacco
smoke has more than 4,000 chemicals of which 60 are known carcinogens.
Contrary to popular belief, separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning
the air, and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposures to
secondhand smoke.

MDCH understands the urgency of passing a smoke-free law during the
lame duck session, which officially ends Dec. 30. The department is
asking state legislators to put aside political gamesmanship and do what
is appropriate for Michigan residents.