December 10, 2009 517-999-3646

Give Workers Gift of Health

LANSING – Citizen’s watchdog group Progress Michigan today thanked the State Senate for reversing its Grinch-like approach to a proposed workplace smoking ban by passing HB 4377. The bill bans smoking in Michigan’s bars and restaurants, but does allow exemptions for cigar bars, tobacco shops and the gaming floors of Detroit’s three casinos.

“Passing a ban on workplace smoking is a tremendous first step, and shows that Michigan believes in protecting our workers,” said David Holtz, Progress Michigan executive director. “Unfortunately, employees of casinos, cigar bars and tobacco shops will still suffer the effects of secondhand smoke. While most Michigan workers will hopefully get the gift of health, the Legislature still insists on putting coal in casino-workers’ stockings.”

Research shows servers, like those working in bars and restaurants, are 50% more likely to develop lung cancer than the general population, and at risk for a host of other chronic health issues such as asthma.

Progress Michigan is calling on the House of Representatives and Senate to finish the job and enact the legislation before Christmas.

“Look, this has been a tough year for Michigan’s workers. The least the Legislature can do is to send them a little holiday cheer in the form of a workplace smoking ban,” Holtz said.


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