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News Summary

Attempt to amend smoking ban fails

Publication Date: 2007-07-14
  • Author:Mark Scolforo
  • Publication:Philadelphia Inquirer

The Pennsylvania House rejected the bid to insert exceptions into a Senate-passed bill.

The Pennsylvania House, considering a statewide smoking ban yesterday for the second time in eight days, defeated a key amendment that would have inserted additional exceptions into a Senate-passed bill.

The House voted, 82-113, against an amendment that, among other things, would have allowed Philadelphia to keep its more stringent smoking ban in place, allowed smoking anywhere on casino floors, and banned smoking in any private home used as a child-care facility.

Consideration of the ban on smoking in most enclosed or semi-enclosed public places was expected to resume today.

The defeated amendment would have allowed smoking to continue in bars where food accounts for less than a fifth of total sales, in as many as one-quarter of any hotel's rooms, and in homes that are not used as adult day-care or health-care facilities.

"It sounds more about protecting an interest than protecting individual citizens in individual areas," said Rep. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery). "This is, I believe, a profound moral issue. It's one of the few votes that we're going to cast that actually has life-and-death consequences."