ShareThis Page

Pennsylvania House proposal would end indoor smoking in bars, casinos

Wes Venteicher
| Monday, May 8, 2017, 5:51 p.m.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review

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

House Bill 1309 , introduced Friday by House Health Committee Chairman Matthew Baker, R-Tioga County, would scrap 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 18 bill sponsors including Democrats and Republicans. The proposal would require approval from the Health Committee, the House, the Senate and the governor to become law.

Smoking would still be allowed in private residences, according to the bill.

Baker was not available for comment Monday afternoon.

Diane Phillips, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said the proposal would protect the health of workers exposed to second-hand smoke, which increases the risk of cancer.

“They are most affected by having to work in a smoke-filled environment at hours at a time in their shift. We don't think people should have to choose between a job and their health,” Phillips said.

She 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.

Phillips said the 2008 law was 10 years in the making, and included the exemptions for business owners who feared they would lose customers. She said she expects the new proposal to be less controversial.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.