Lansing, Michigan (PRWEB) December 21, 2008
Michigan State lawmakers should be saluted for failing to compromise on a proposed statewide smoking ban before its 2007-2008 session came to an end this week, according to Chris McCalla, legislative director of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
"The state of Michigan does not need more legislated restrictions on smoking in privately-owned places. Smoking bans are wrong because they are anti-business and they are based on misleading biases. This is one case where the failure of the Senate and the House to compromise on an issue resulted in the correct conclusion," McCalla said.
McCalla said that his organization and its 45 IPCPR retail members throughout the state helped make the difference in the Michigan campaign.
"Our members are basically neighborhood cigar store owners who recruited thousands of their customers who, in turn, made their voices heard in opposition to the proposed legislation. Without these tobacconists and their customers, it may not have gone our way. At the same time, we fully understand that this may be only a temporary win and that the anti-smoking forces may well resume the battle in 2009," he said.
McCalla was hopeful that lawmakers in next year's session would take a more rational view of the matter by analyzing more closely the alleged facts offered by anti-smoking forces and by showing a higher regard for all citizens of Michigan - business owners and consumers, smokers and non-smokers.
"The anti-smoking forces base their claims on poorly constructed studies that are designed to reach conclusions not supported by actual data. The problem is, all too often, those false claims and studies are accepted without being challenged as to their source, methodology or funding," he pointed out.
"Many businesses - including restaurants and bars - already prohibit smoking in their establishments. The owners of those businesses made that decision and that's the way it should be," McCalla added.
"It should be left up to individual business owners to decide whether or not they allow smoking on their premises. Their employees and customers can then decide whether or not to work there or patronize them. The bottom line is that, although nothing happens to anyone if he or she gets an incidental whiff of secondhand smoke, if you don't want to smell smoke, don't go into an establishment that allows smoking."