Debate still lights up over Michigan smoking ban

Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some state lawmakers are trying to burn holes in Michigan's 2-year-old smoking ban, which has cleared the air in public places and enjoyed support but contributed to cash-flow problems at some bars.

An amendment added to a budget bill by one lawmaker this past week would stop enforcement of the ban at longtime charitable fundraising events. A Senate bill introduced last year would allow smoking in enclosed, separate rooms and outdoor patios of eateries.

Neither is a done deal. But for the senator who sponsored the exemption tucked into the Department of Community Health's budget proposal, it's less about lighting up than letting up on regulation.

Those behind the smoking ban cite significant health benefits since its passage, particularly a sharp drop in air pollution in restaurants.

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