Michigan Smoking Ban Regulations

Smoking will be prohibited in all public places and indoor workplaces including restaurants, hotels and bars under the Michigan Smoking Ban. Under the law, the “workplace” is defined as any place that serves food or drink and has at least one employee.


Smoking will still be permitted in vehicles, even those vehicles used for work. It will also be permitted in home offices, according to the Detroit Free Press.


As we previously reported, Michigan is the 38th state to pass a smoking ban, which becomes effective on May 1, 2010. An exception to the ban will permit smoking on the gambling floor of the Detroit-area casinos, while prohibiting smoking in casino bars, restaurants and hotels.


Hookah bars and cigar bars can continue to operate as long as they do not serve any food or beverages. Smoking is banned on the outdoor patios of restaurants, and in all hotel rooms. Workers on construction sites are permitted to smoke outside, but not inside.


This law is the result of a decade-long effort by Michigan legislators, mostly Democrats, to implement a smoking ban. A recent survey shows that 66% of Michigan voters support some type of smoking ban.


Employers must post appropriate non-smoking signs throughout the workplace, especially at entrances and exits. Ashtrays and other smoking implements are prohibited. If an employee is caught smoking, the employee will be subject to tickets, fines and penalties. The fine is $100 for the first violation and up to $500 for subsequent violation. This also applies to customers, clients and vendors in the workplace.


Michigan employers are required to inform employees of the fines for smoking.


Employees will not be able to argue that while they were holding a lit cigarette, they were not smoking. The law defines “smoking” as “burning a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance that contains a tobacco product.” This definition would seem to permit chewing tobacco at work.


The law passed on December 10, 2009 goes into effect on May 1, 2010. It applies to any indoor workplace where at least one employee is performing work for the employer. The law would prohibit designated indoor smoking areas or rooms in the workplace.


The Michigan smoking ban also specifically prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who exercises his or her rights by objecting to smoking in the workplace.

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