Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued an order on Monday that mandates that masks must be worn in her state’s smoking lounges at all times.
This order was issued through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service, according to The Center Square. The publication added that Michigan cigar and vaping lounges were shocked by the order, as it effectively makes smoking in their facilities impossible.
The order states that violations of it are considered a misdemeanor, carry a $200 fine, and could include a $1,000 fine per day. Officials will also be targeting businesses for violations.
“Businesses that permit smoking on their premises may also be cited for violations of the order,” the order stated.
An edict that was issued by Whitmer earlier this month allows the removal of a mask for eating or drinking, but residents taking part “in gatherings for any exercise activities, group fitness, or organized sports” must wear one.
Whitmer’s new order specifically points out that smoking is not included in the exemptions.
“Accordingly, it is a violation of the order for a person to remove their face mask to smoke tobacco or any other substance (including vaping, marijuana, or herbal substances) while participating in a gathering,” the order said. “This means that tobacco specialty retail stores, hookah lounges, cigar bars, and other venues that hold an exemption from Part 126 of the Public Health Code cannot permit smoking in their facility.”
Back in November, Whitmer announced a “three-week pause” of indoor dining that ultimately lasted fourteen weeks. Lance McGhee of Detroit’s Storm Cigar & Hookah Lounge told Fox2 at the time that this order was “devastating.”
“The impact that it has on small businesses like myself can make or break a business,” McGhee said.
Whitmer has become infamous in many circles for enacting some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the country on her state. Many feel that the power has gone to her head a bit, and that she has taken things way too far when it comes to ordering around the people of her state, and dictating their lives.