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October 22 • 03:12 PM
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Don't fall for 'designated smoking' scam



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shadow
June 23, 2010
It hasn't taken long for the scammers to find a way to prey on trusting business owners facing hard times.

Like it or not, the state's new smoke free law, enacted May 1, 2010, bans smoking at all worksites including bars and restaurants that serve food. Smoking is not allowed in those buildings, nor near any entrances, exits or windows. Smokers can't light up on patios or decks either if food is being served. A copy of the law is available at www.stclaircounty.org/offices/health.

It's all there in black and white, much debated and reported on. Still, the St. Clair County Health Department is warning owners of bars and restaurants to beware of scams offering special licenses or permits that allow them to be "designated smoking establishments." No such license exists and is not being sold by either the Michigan Department of Community Health or the Health Department, officials say. If you're offered a chance to purchase such a permit, you should report it to the Tobacco Section of Michigan Department of Community Health by calling 866-597-6653.

Like it or not, lighting up in the workplace and at establishments that serve food is not up for debate—nor can exceptions be purchased. The option to become a "designated smoking establishment" does not exist, except in the minds of scammers.

Castle Creek
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