GOP Rep. wants mask removal to apply to smoking in cigar bars in Michigan


photo credit: Michigan GOP

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — State Rep. Graham Filler is asking the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services to reconsider a complete ban on smoking at cigar bars, hookah lounges and tobacco specialty stores in Michigan.

Rep. Filler sent a letter to MDHHS following DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel’s memo issued Monday stating that there is no exemption in the department’s emergency health orders allowing people to remove masks for the purpose of smoking in public lounges, even if social distancing measures are taken.

The decision, which impacts more than 200 Michigan businesses, has prompted a bipartisan effort to seek clarity on the matter.

In his letter, Rep. Filler wrote:

“The current order allows people to consume alcohol at a restaurant or a casino,” the letter reads. “In fact, customers are allowed to smoke in casinos. Why should the removal of a mask to consume alcohol be treated any differently than the removal of a mask to smoke a cigar? When did alcohol become a more favored product in the context of a pandemic?”

A full copy of the letter is attached.

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