Michigan Smoking Ban Results In Healthier Bar Employees

Darlene Krause, manager of Muskegon's Tipsy Toad Tavern, made it through the whole winter without getting sick.

And not only her. “You know, I've noticed a lot of the people,” Krause said. “Before, we had a lot of the people come in with colds or the flu.” This year, not so many.

She said she believes one big reason for the change is Michigan's year-old ban on smoking cigarettes in bars and restaurants. The smoke-free law took effect May 1, 2010.

The ban was intended to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, especially for bar and restaurant employees forced to work around it as a condition of their jobs. Public-health officials hoped that would lead to improvements in health.

It seems to be working.

The Michigan Department of Community Health recently reported the results of a health study of 40 people working at bars in 12 Michigan counties. Six of the participants were from Muskegon County, according to a local official.