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News Summary

Pa. smoking ban approved

Publication Date: 6/11/2008
  • Author:Amy Worden
  • Publication:Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer

The Senate sent the bill to Gov. Rendell, who is expected to sign it. Philadelphia's ban remains intact.

After months of debate, the Senate yesterday overwhelming approved a bill to ban smoking in virtually all public places and most work sites throughout Pennsylvania.

The bill, which allows Philadelphia to keep its more extensive two-year-old smoking ban, now goes to Gov. Rendell, who said through a spokesman that he intends to sign it shortly after it reaches his desk later this week.

When the measure becomes law, Pennsylvania will join 32 states - including New Jersey - and the District of Columbia with some type of smoking ban.

The legislation will take effect 90 days after Rendell's signature.

It effectively bans smoking in all public places including hospitals, schools and sports facilities. It bars smoking in taxis, trains and buses and in train and bus stations. It also eliminates smoking in all restaurants.

But the bill contains a lengthy list of exemptions allowing smoking in certain workplaces and entertainment venues, including casinos located outside of Philadelphia.