A State Senator from Michigan, Rick Jones, has introduced Senate Bill 352 to amend the onerous smoking ban. If adopted, there is a remote possibility we cigar smokers could once again light up and enjoy a God given liberty (I’m sure God enjoys a Davidoff from time to time). Here’s what SB 352 is all about:
- A “food service” establishment or other non-public place described in a sub-section I’ve no interest in looking up, may create a smoking room so long as:
- The room is enclosed, floor to ceiling, with no openings for the smoke to exit from;
- It’s equipped with its own ventilation/filtration system OR
- There is a second set of doors, creating a vestibule (if you will) where the smoke gets trapped between one set of doors and the other.
- The room must close one hour prior to the rest of the establishment closing to allow ample time for the room to “clear out” (my words, not the legislation’s) before any employee would have to go in there to bus tables, pick up trash, etc.
- No one must be required to go through the smoke room to get somewhere else within the facility, nor are employees required to go in there while open to the public.
- It also allows for smoking on a patio so long as:
- The outdoor patio area is outside of the contiguous walls and entry doors of the food service establishment;
- Alcohol is allowed in the outdoor patio area.
I love this proposal. Do I think it’ll go anywhere? Not really. It was first introduced May, 2011 and immediately sent to the Government Operations committee. Now, unless things have changed in that committee since I last worked in the State Senate, my boss hated when his legislation went into that committee because that was where bills “went to die”. Add to the fact it’s State Senator Rick Jones’ bill and he’s not exactly a mover & shaker, the likelihood of it going anywhere is slim to none. Trust me, I’d love to be wrong.
But it is better than nothing, and our rights weren’t taken away from us overnight, so we’re not going to get them back overnight. I think this legislation is a great start, however, and it’s a reasonable start. That all being said, seeing legislation like this come along is certainly a breath of fresh air.