On December 18, 2009, Governor Granholm signed the Dr. Ron Davis Smoke-Free Air Law into effect (P.A. 188 of 2009). The law will go into effect on May 1, 2010.
The law was passed to preserve and improve the health, comfort, and environment of the people of the state by limiting exposure to secondhand smoke. The law is not the only smoke-free law in the state, but it sets the minimum requirements of indoor workplace and public places where smoking is regulated. These minimum standards apply statewide.
The statewide law does the following:
AREAS WHERE SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED
PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT DEFINED
Place of employment means an enclosed indoor area that contains one or more work areas for one or more persons employed by public or private employer.
FOOD SERVICE EASTABLISHMENT DEFINED
A food service establishment is defined in section 1107(n) of the food law of 2000, 200 PA 92, MCL 289.1107 as: a fixed or mobile restaurant, a coffee shop, a cafeteria, short order café, luncheonette, grill, tearoom, sandwich shop, soda fountain, tavern, bar, cocktail lounge, nightclub, drive-in, industrial feeding establishment, private organization serving the public, rental hall, catering kitchen, delicatessen, theater, commissary, food concession, or similar place in which food or drink is prepared for direct consumption through service on the premises or elsewhere, and any other eating or drinking establishment or operation where food is served or provided for the public.
Business operators shall prohibit smoking in areas where it is not permitted. Compliance is determined by the following:
AREAS WHERE SMOKING IS PERMITTED
1) Cigar Bars
2) Tobacco Specialty Retail Stores
3) Detroit Casinos
BUSINESS OWNERS RESPONSE TO SOMEONE SMOKING IN ESTABLISHMENT
ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTY
The Smoke-Free Air Law will be enforced by the Department of Community Health (DCH). The DCH could authorize local health departments to carry out the enforcement. Violations are a civil penalty (not a criminal matter), and subject the offender(s) to a civil fine of up to $100 for a first violation and up to $500 for a second or subsequent violation. Individuals and entities alleging violations may also bring civil actions for appropriate injunctive relief. Violations may also result in an order to cease food service operations. If a business owner/agent falsifies an affidavit related to the Act, that is criminal perjury.
Information on how to file a complaint regarding a business or individual who is in violation of this law is available at www.michigan.gov/smokefreelaw.
Currently the Westland Police Department is unable to enforce the Smoke-Free Air Law, enforcement is limited by statute to the Michigan Department of Community Health and also local health departments if they so elect. However, appropriate action can be taken when assistance is required for a subject who fails to leave the premises of a business after being asked to do so by the property owner or their agent (this would be treated by us as any other case of criminal trespass just as we normally do).
For more information regarding the Smoke-Free Air Law go to www.michigan.gov/smokefreelaw.
WESTLAND POLICE PROTOCOL
If the Westland police department does receive any calls of people smoking at a place were smoking may not be allowed, the person calling should be advised:
1) To make their concerns known to management at the establishment. Under the statute, it is the responsibility of the management of the establishment to take appropriate action. The police are not empowered under the statute to take enforcement action at this level.
2) If the caller still has concerns, they may also contact the Michigan Department of Community Health directly, and register a complaint with them. They are the next level of enforcement that takes place under the law. The police are not empowered under the statute to take enforcement action at this level.