New Pennsylvania Bill Threatens Cigar Smoking in Currently Exempted Establishments
Brothers and sisters of the leaf in the State of Pennsylvania, your cigar bars and other cigar-friendly establishments are in jeopardy. Check the article below from a local Harrisburg news site, then take action.
A new proposal from state lawmakers would change where smokers are allowed to light up in Pennsylvania. Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) is introducing a Bill that would extend the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act to include all public places.
When the Clean Indoor Air Act was signed into law in 2008, smoking became illegal in most public places across the state. There are some exemptions, though.
“Current law allows smoking in some bars, in casinos, and sports venues. Right now, it’s perfectly legal to smoke after hours inside an in-home child care facility,” Frankel says.
House Bill 2298 would remove all exemptions of the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act. This includes bars, cigar bars, casinos, and private clubs. A full list of establishments currently exempt from the CIAA can be found here: Pennsylvania Department of Health Clean Indoor Air Act Exception Approvals (click on the county name for the list of establishments currently exempt).
By getting rid of exemptions to the law, Rep. Frankel says patrons and employees will be protected.
“Any workplace that subjects employees to cigarette smoke is an unsafe workplace,” he adds.
Another provision of the bill would include e-cigarettes in the definition of smoking. This would make vaping in any public place illegal if the Bill were to pass. Health officials are hoping this encourages people to stop vaping, cutting down on all types of second-hand smoke.
“According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the simplest and cheapest way to protect people from second-hand smoke is to create a smoke-free environment,” says Cindy Findley, a Deputy Secretary in the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health.
Lastly, the proposal would give local municipalities the ability to enact their own smoke-free ordinances. This would make it so the state Government wouldn’t be pre-empting local governments when it comes to smoke-free ordinances. If passed, Pennsylvania would become the 40th state to allow this.
“It’s time to care about our health, it’s time to care about our children’s health, it’s time to care about our neighbor’s health, it’s time to care about the health of our workers,” says Dr. Franziska Rosser, a Doctor at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The Bill will most likely be assigned to the House Health Committee. Companion legislation will be introduced in the Senate as well.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Say No To Smoking Ban In Pennsylvania
As the article above mentions, House Bill 2298 has been introduced in the Pennsylvania State House and proposes to ban smoking in cigar stores, cigar bars, casinos, bars, private clubs and outdoor spaces. Take action now, contact your representatives in Harrisburg and respectfully ask that they not support House Bill 2298 or any attempts to ban smoking in cigar stores and cigar bars in the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania residents, go to the Cigar Rights of America Action Center to compose a message to your state representative to request they not support the bill.