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News Summary

Confusion over potential smoking bans

Publication Date: 3/27/2005
  • Author:BRIAN CALLAWAY
  • Publication:The Intelligencer
Anti-tobacco activists are pushing for municipalities across the state to follow Philadelphia's lead in considering a ban on smoking in places such as bars and restaurants.

But confusion over what state law allows may be discouraging that.

"I don't think we have the right to do that," said Randall C. Flager, a New Hope councilman. "I don't even want to get into a whole discussion of what-ifs and maybes if we don't even have that power."

Indeed, when asked about a possible smoking ban, many local officials cite part of a 1988 state law that specifically forbids them from passing any rules more strict than the state's, which allows for smoking in most bars and restaurants.