PA State House Proposal: Smoking Ban Expansion

A proposal in the Pennsylvania state House would ban indoor smoking at bars, casinos, clubs and hotels that still allow it.

House Bill 1309 , introduced last Friday by Health Committee Chairman Matthew Baker, the reprentative from Tioga County, would drop a list of exemptions in the 2008 Clean Indoor Air Act that let some businesses continue to allow smoking under certain conditions.

Baker is one of nearly 20 bill sponsors on both sides of the aisle in Harrisburg. The proposal would need approval from the Health Committee, the House, the Senate and Governor Tom Wolf to become law.

Diane Phillips, the government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said this proposal would protect the health of workers exposed to second-hand smoke. She says that people shouldn't have to choose between job and health.

Phillips said about 3,000 businesses in the state allow smoking indoors under the exemptions.

Bars can allow smoking under the 2008 law if 20 percent or less of its sales come from food. Casinos can allow smoking on a portion of their gaming floors but not the whole floor. Hotels can designate up to 25 percent of their rooms as smoking rooms.

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