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Bill would broaden Pennsylvania smoking ban

Publication Date: 2012-07-25
  • Author:Patricia Sabatini
  • Publication:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Local governments across Pennsylvania could enact tougher bans on smoking than what is called for by the state's Clean Indoor Air Act under legislation expected to be introduced today by state Rep. Dan Frankel.

Currently, the state's no-smoking law takes precedence, offering some workplaces an exemption, most notably casinos and bars.

Mr. Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, on Wednesday called the indoor air act, which took effect in 2008 after more than a decade of legislative wrangling, "a monumental half-step forward" in protecting the public against the dangers of second-hand smoke.

He said he supported eliminating all exemptions in the law, but didn't believe it was a realistic goal because of strong opposition from affected businesses.

"I'd rather do it uniformly across the state, but if the state isn't prepared to do it, let's not prohibit local governments from protecting the health of their citizens," he said.

Under Mr. Frankel's amendment, Allegheny County or the City of Pittsburgh would be free to ban smoking in all bars, for example.

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