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      Lighting up is out

      Thursday marks the 37th annual Great American Smokeout, a day designated to encourage smokers to kick the habit.

      Up until a few years ago, smoking was a familiar sight in bars and restaurants throughout the state. But since 2009, smokers were told to butt out after the Smoke Free Air Law was passed in Michigan.

      "Most people are comfortable with it, and they are now just used to it, having to go outside. Every now and then, you need to stop a customer out of habit. They go to light up, and you just say, hey, OK, and they're glad to go outside. They don't think, you know. It's just automatic," said bar owner Ernie Lindsey.

      Lindsey owns the Paradise Bar in Ishpeming. He says business has gone down 10 percent since the law passed.

      "The loss of the ten percent business, that's a tough question if it was worth it or not. It's nice having a cleaner, nicer bar, where all of our decorations and ceilings stay nice, but we could all use ten percent more business," Lindsey said.

      Since the legislation has passed, the Paradise Bar has set up a designated smoking area outside. It's equipped with benches and ash trays, all in an effort to keep their smoking customers happy.

      The Marquette County Health Department says over the years, they've received fewer reports about violations of the law. In the last year they say they haven't had a single complaint. In fact, they've heard good things.

      "A lot of places did tell us that they got new customers who came in that they never saw before. Lots of college students reported how much they liked being able to go out on the weekends, not having to worry about smelling like smoke and that sort of thing. So, we've heard a lot of positivity from it, and I do think the lack of complaints does show a high compliance," said health educator, Sarah Derwin.

      To see tips on quitting smoking, click here.