Randy LoBasso reports that the American Lung Association is pushing Harrisburg to close exemptions in our weak indoor smoking bill. Not to let state lawmakers off the hook, but it seems unlikely they’ll fully close the loopholes. A better strategy would be to let cities pass their own laws fully banning smoking from bars and casinos. This would be an uphill fight in Philadelphia, because dive bars will claim it’ll destroy everything, but obviously it wouldn’t:
The Lung Association’s Mid-Atlantic CEO Deborah Brown noted last year that the state needs to close the exemptions in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, so bars that make less than 20 percent of their profits from food, and private clubs, would not be exempt.
“[O]ur state’s leaders still need to do more, especially when it comes to helping smokers quit and eliminating the gaping exemptions to the clean indoor air law. All workers in the state should receive equal protection from secondhand smoke. We have a lot of work ahead in 2014,” noted Brown of the report’s findings.
“Casinos and some bars still allow indoor smoking, exposing workers to the dangers of secondhand smoke. These loopholes must be closed,” reads the report’s summary on Pennsylvania. State Rep. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) has been at the forefront of this issue, attempting to close the loopholes. “[A]ll tobacco products are lethal weapons that kill from both ends,” he noted in a recent press release. And he’s expanded his goals as of recent to take on e-cigarettes, too.