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News Summary

Pa.'s rule on casino smoking 'simply doesn't work'

Publication Date: 6/18/2017
  • Author:Mark Gruetze
  • Publication:Tribune-Review

Pennsylvania's 50-50 rule on casino smoking spaces fails for an elementary reason, says a scientist behind numerous studies of gaming areas.

"Drawing a line on the floor (between smoking and non-smoking areas) simply doesn't work, because the smoke does not know where to stop," biophysicist James Repace says. "It's governed by the laws of physics, so it will diffuse right over the line."

Pennsylvania's Clean Indoor Air Act, which took effect in 2008, bans smoking in workplaces and places open to the public, including open-air athletic facilities such as Heinz Field and PNC Park.

However, an exemption allows smoking on up to 50 percent of the gaming area of each of the state's 12 casinos, even though casino restaurants and affiliated venues must be smoke-free...

The issue of smoking in casinos is getting extra attention now because of a bill by state Rep. Matt Baker, R-Bradford County, to remove the casino exemption, and almost all others, from the Clean Indoor Air Act. Similar measures have failed in the past, and Baker says a vote on the bill has not been scheduled...