HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Loopholes in a 2008 Pennsylvania law to ban smoking indoor public places allowed some places to let guests smoke inside, and now a state representative is looking to close these exemptions.
The Clean Indoor Air Act, Act 27 of 2008, was signed into law on June 13, 2008. The law prohibits smoking in a public place or a workplace.
The 2008 bill did allow for some exceptions.
Now, Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny County) is looking to end them with his Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act.
Currently, Pennsylvania casinos, for example, can allow smoking as long as 50% of the gambling floor is “non-smoking”
When it comes to the workers, Frankel said “Pennsylvanians should not have to choose between their jobs and their health. That’s why I’ll soon be reintroducing my legislation to close the loopholes that threaten the health of Pennsylvania workers.”
The Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act would close loopholes and exemptions on:
- Private clubs
- Bars that do not serve food (or 15% of sales or fewer is from food)
- VFW bars/clubs
The act would also ban e-cigarettes and vaping indoors.
There are numerous steps for the act to go through to be passed. Frankel explained those steps to PlayPennsylvania:
- Circulate a piece of proposed legislation among colleagues and ask them to co-sponsor
- Introduce the bill and the Speaker of the House refers it to the committee
- The Committee chairman decides to hold the bill or run it through the committee
- Sent to the House floor with an affirmative vote
- Pass it on the House floor
- Send to Senate to go through the above steps
- Send to Senate floor
After the bill gets through all of those steps, it would then go to Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk to sign into law — or to veto.
A hearing with the health committee that will feature casino workers is said to be happening this fall.