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Proposed air tests just a smoke screen

Publication Date: 2008-04-11
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Reading Eagle, PA

The Issue: Action on a proposed smoking ban is postponed to allow development of air-testing requirements.

Our Opinion: This is nothing more than a ploy to weaken the proposed ban, leaving employees who work in establishments where smoking is allowed unprotected from secondhand smoke.

The focus of Pennsylvania's proposed indoor-smoking ban is supposed to be on the health of people who work in venues such as restaurants, casinos and private clubs, where they are exposed to secondhand smoke.

But that doesn't seem to be the concern of some members of the House-Senate conference committee charged with crafting compromise legislation after the chambers passed widely differing versions of the ban last year.

A majority of the committee members are bending over backward in an effort to provide businesses with a way to circumvent the ban.

Under a plan proposed by Rep. Ron Miller, a York County Republican and a member of the committee, establishments could allow smoking if they met air-testing requirements.

Last week's meeting of the committee, which had been called to take action on the compromise measure, was postponed until April 29 to provide time to determine what those requirements should be.

According to Miller, he proposed the air-testing requirements because he wanted to create what he called a science-based law.

The only science Miller should be concerned about is the overwhelming research that shows secondhand smoke is deadly.

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