This week, Wayne County health officials are acknowledging the second anniversary of the Smoke Free Air Law, May 1, also known as the Dr. Ron Davis Law. The Michigan public act was designed to protect individuals from the dangers of second-hand smoke, including chemicals and other harmful materials in smoke and tobacco products.
The law enables individuals to enjoy smoke-free environments and dining while in public places, such as the 3,500 food establishments inspected by Wayne County’s Environmental Health Division. Detroit is outside the service area covered by Wayne County inspectors.
Michigan bars, restaurants, places of employment and more have been smoke free since 2010, promoting overall public health and the prevention of medical conditions related to second-hand smoke such as heart and lung disease, cancer and hypertension.
“The Smoke Free Air Law helps to improve people’s health and enjoy a better quality of life,” said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano.
Wayne County inspectors have responded to approximately 1,000 smoking complaints since the law’s inception. However, less than 2 percent of the bars and restaurants in Wayne County have had enforcement action initiated for failure to follow the law.
“We feel that these statistics show that the public welcomes the law and most bars and restaurants have adjusted to requiring patrons to go outside to smoke,” said Carol Austerberry, director, Environmental Health Division.
The law will also help discourage persons of all ages, including adolescents, from smoking and using tobacco products.
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 80 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 18. Findings also indicate that on a daily basis, approximately 3,800 people under the age of 18, smoke their first cigarette. Of those, an estimated 1,000 become habitual smokers.
“Anytime someone inhales smoke, it affects their health,” said Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, acting director, Wayne County Department of Public Health. “Whether it’s from a cigarette someone is smoking or second-hand smoke that someone is breathing, people are inhaling known carcinogens.”
Research shows that second-hand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in Michigan, resulting in as many as 2,500 deaths annually.
To get help kicking the habit, make a complaint about a Wayne County establishment that is not following the Smoke Free Air Law (outside Detroit), or to receive additional information about business compliance, call the Wayne County Environmental Health Division at 734.727.7400.
You can also visit the Michigan Department of Community Health website at
For more information regarding this release, please contact Mary Mazur, Communications-Health and Human Services, at 313.224.0436.
Source: Wayne County Health and Human Services Department