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Update: An estimated 700 Michigan bars took part in NYE smoking ban protest

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A spokesman says 700 bars protested the state's smoking ban on New Year's Eve

We reported last week that some 400 Michigan bar owners planned to ignore the state's smoking ban and allow patrons to light up on New Year's Eve.

Steve Mace is with the Protect Private Property Rights Movement in Michigan, the group that organized the protest. He issued a press release today with an update on how the protest went:

"There were an estimated 700 bars that took back their property right on New Years Eve. Exceeding all expectations. While confirmations continue to come in, we are confident this number will grow significantly. Several bar owners have reported already receiving calls from county health departments. Bar owners remain hopeful that the pro-ban lobby and the minority that support them, did in fact flood the county and district health departments with complaints. This will assist to provide conclusive evidence that this ban is in fact enforced 45 separate ways statewide. "

Mace said the NYE's smoking ban protest was based on similar protests that were staged earlier this year in Greece and Holland.

Michigan's smoking ban, which went into effect in May, makes it illegal to smoke in most public workplaces including bars and restaurants.

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