Lawmaker calls for smoking ban in all Pennsylvania bars, casinos

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to expand the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act by removing exemptions that currently allow smoking in certain public places.

House Bill 2298, sponsored by state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), would remove exemptions for drinking establishments, cigar bars, casinos, and private clubs. Exceptions to the 2008 law allow smoking at more than 1,800 public locations in Pennsylvania.

“With these loopholes, our laws say it’s okay if some people like workers, sports fans, children are at risk of getting sick,” Frankel said. “Well, that’s not okay with me.”​

Additionally, vaping would be prohibited in any place where smoking is banned.

“When we crafted our current law, we couldn’t have conceived of the wave of popularity that would put e-cigarettes in the hands of Pennsylvania’s children,” Frankel said.​

Some people believe the bill unfairly equates vaping with smoking. Dave Norris, the owner of Blue Door Vaping, promotes vaping as a safer alternative.​

“All of the studies on vaping show that there’s absolutely no danger to bystanders whatsoever,” Norris said. “To include something that is significantly less harmful and to restrict a private business’s ability to make those decisions I feel is a bad road to go down.”​

The legislation also would allow local governments to enact smoke-free ordinances more strict than current state law.

House Bill 2298 has not yet been assigned to a committee. ​

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