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Bars, restaurants fight smoking ban with lawmaker ban


A group of bar and restaurant owners in Michigan plans to ban lawmakers from drinking or dining in their establishments, beginning September First.

It’s a campaign to protest Michigan’s smoking ban, which took effect last May. A group called Protect Private Property Rights of Michigan is circulating pictures of the state’s lawmakers, and about 500 bars and restaurants are expected to enforce the ban.

The group’s executive director, Steve Mace, says many of its members have lost a great deal of business as a result of the smoking ban:

"They’ve grown very frustrated, some very angry. Emotions are running very high. So their idea was well, if these are the individuals we have to go to to change this, then perhaps we can get their attention by banning them."

Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate that would allow “smoking rooms” that would be exempt from the ban. But so far the legislation has failed to gain any traction.

Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.
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