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No-smoking rules loosened for restaurant and bar outdoor areas

courtesy: restaurant.com

The state of Michigan is loosening the no-smoking rules at some restaurants and bars. Smoking outdoors will be allowed under certain circumstances.

Ever since Embers Bar and Grill in Tecumseh added an outdoor patio earlier this year, patrons who smoke have asked if they can light up. General Manager Sam VanSickle has always had to explain they cannot allow it.

“’Cause it’s the law. Wherever we’re licensed to sell food or alcohol, we’re not allowed to allow smoking.”

But a clarification in the state’s no-smoking rule will now allow smoking outdoors as long as servers don’t have to wait on people in the smoking area.

VanSickle says that will make a lot of his patrons happy.

“As long as I have a self-serve deck, you can stand out there with your friends, you can have a beer, you can smoke a pack of cigarettes, you’re more than welcome to do that.”

Business owners can determine for themselves whether to limit smoking to certain hours or whether to allow smoking at all in their outdoor venues.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.