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News Summary

Push on to expand smoking ban

Publication Date: 2013-05-16
  • Author:Robert Swift
  • Publication:Citizens Voice

A new push by health advocates is underway to expand the statewide ban on indoor smoking by eliminating a dozen existing exemptions and allowing local governments more say on the matter.

The focus was put on strengthening Pennsylvania's 2008 Clean Indoor Act with the American Lung Association and other groups calling Tuesday for "No More Exceptions" during a rally at the state Capitol.

Ending exceptions that allow smoking in some workplaces will reduce the health dangers from second-hand smoke, said Deb Brown, regional lung association president.

"Thousands of Pennsylvanians have to work in those dirty, smoky environments," she added.

Rep. Mario Scavello, R-Mount Pocono, is preparing legislation to eliminate smoking ban exceptions for casino floors and drinking establishments with less than 20 percent of business in food sales that featured prominently in the 2008 debate over the issue. His legislation would allow local governments to exact smoke-free ordinances that are more stringent than the state law.

Specifically, Scavello's bill would end the exceptions for casino gaming floors, drinking establishments meeting the food sales threshold, private clubs, residential facilities, hotel guest rooms, fundraisers, tobacco promotion events, full-service truck stops and the workplace of tobacco manufacturers and distributors by defining them as public places, according to a legislative memo...

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