MDCH Releases Smoke-Free PSA

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

April 6, 2010

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) kicked off a Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign to raise awareness on the indoor smoking ban, which takes effect May 1, 2010. The PSA titled "Smoked Lasagna" will run in partnership with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) and the Michigan Cable Telecommunications Association (MCTA).

"It's exciting to begin this new era in Michigan where going out to dinner won't mean being exposed to secondhand smoke for patrons or for employees," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "This is good news for all Michigan citizens."

"The MAB and its member stations are proud to partner with MDCH in promoting smoke-free workplaces, bars and restaurants," said Karole White, President and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. The MAB will run the spot as part of its Non-Commercial Sustaining Announcements partnership with MDCH.

"Cable systems throughout the state are dedicated to keeping the public informed and we are pleased to do what we can to help raise awareness of Michigan's Smoke-Free Air Law," said Colleen McNamara, Executive Director of the Michigan Cable Telecommunications Association. The MCTA will run the spots as part of its Cable Paid PSA Program with MDCH.

The new smoke-free spot and additional information on Michigan's Smoke-Free Air Law can be found at www.michigan.gov/smokefreelaw.

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm signed legislation that prohibits smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars, hotels, or any place that serves food or beverages. The Ron M. Davis Law, named after the late chief medical officer of the Department of Public Health, takes effect May 1, 2010, and will make Michigan the 38th state to ban smoking in public places.

Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in Michigan, resulting in about 2,500 deaths. When smoking occurs in the workplace, employees find they are exposed to cancer-causing substances all day.

Smoking-related illnesses in adults include heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory illnesses and diabetes. Children and adolescents exposed to secondhand smoke can develop asthma, ear infections, colds and pneumonia.

The new law allows exemptions for the gaming floors at the three Detroit casinos, but the other casino bars and eateries must be smoke-free, including the casinos' restaurants and hotels. Michigan's 20 American-Indian casinos are not covered by state law. Cigar bars, tobacco specialty shops, home offices, commercial trucks and motor vehicles are also exempt. Individuals and business owners who violate the law will be subject to penalties of $100 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses.