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Lawmakers in the state of Michigan have heard the rumblings. They go something like this, “if a smoking ban is put in place we will lose all of our business,” or, “smokers have the right to smoke in public and if people don’t like it they can go somewhere else.”
Those are great arguments for continuing to pollute the air that other people breathe, but the facts still remain the same. In Michigan, up to 3,000 people a year are killed because of secondhand smoke.
That is why lawmakers are now discussing a Bill that would eliminate smoking in all public areas, including casinos. The risk of losing revenue is no longer the issue for these lawmakers, saving lives is.
“We’re going to give it our best shot,” said Representative Bert Johnson, “There is an importance to having a ban in place.” That importance is one in which thirty five other states have already started with some form of a smoking ban in public places.
The smoking ban issue is much like the actual casino gambling issue. The opponents to both have been throwing the same stale defenses out everytime the issue comes up. The only problem with these defenses are that they are outdated at a time when the country is evolving.
One businessman in Michigan has already prepared for the worst, and seemed to be holding the state hostage in declaring that a smoking ban would further hurt the economy and cause people to lose jobs.
“Without smokers, I don’t know if I’d be in business,” said David Munson, owner of the Summer Trails Inn in Standish, “If I lost 15% of my revenue, I’d have to let somebody go, and I have a hard time staying open.”
Hopefully, Munson will land on his feet should he lose his business when a smoking ban eventually is put in place. Or maybe, some of the 3,000 lives that will be saved from the ban can become new customers of his.