Students talking about Michigan smoking ban

From popular restaurants in Monroe to the MCCC campus, Michigan’s smoking ban is getting students talking.

“I just think people should be able to smoke wherever they want,” MCCC Freshman Kellie Lane said, “why change it now?”

The new law is set to start May 1. It bans smoking in all public places in Michigan except for Detroit casinos, cigar bars, tobacco stores, home offices, and vehicles.

Some smokers have said they won’t eat in a restaurant if they can’t smoke there. MCCC Senior Donald Traviss had the following to say about the smoking law:

“It may lower profits for some businesses at first, but people will get over it.”

The reason for the smoking law is to cut down on health risks, especially in the workplace.

Lung cancer affects 21,000 people in the U.S each year, according to EPA.gov.

Michigan is joining 37 states that have a smoking ban already. The United States isn’t the only country with smoking bans. An estimated 92 countries have some type of smoking ban.

An estimated 443,600 people die as a result of tobacco related illnesses in the U.S each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

The state will enforce the law by making sure there are “no smoking” signs. The fine for the first offense is $100, and the second is $500.

The new smoking law is making Michigan become a healthier place. Making it harder for its residents to smoke hopefully helping them quit.

“I’m for it, I hate that everyone I know smokes,” said MCCC Freshman Jasmine Moser.

MCCC has been slowly banning smoking from the premises even before the law was passed. In the first year, smoking was to be 20 feet away from any campus building.

 “MCCC is in the second year of a 3 year plan to phase in the elimination of smoking on campus,” Dr. David Nixon, MCCC president, said.

The College works with a shared-government program The Health and Safety Committee chose this.

“They discussed it for two years before we took it to the trustees for approval,” Nixon said.

So even though MCCC is only a small fraction of Michigan, they too are trying to make Michigan a healthier place.

Nixon said he knows of a couple of students who benefitted from the policy.

“Best thing that happened to them at MCCC was that they quit smoking.”