HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania State House committee has advanced a bill that would ban smoking in bars, casinos, and clubs.
The Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act introduced by Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) would ban smoking and the use of e-cigarettes from businesses not included in the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008.
The bill also allows localities to enact smoke-free ordinances more protective than state law.
“We are the Health Committee – it’s in the name. We cannot refuse to act while thousands of Pennsylvanians are forced to choose between an absolutely undebatable health hazard and their ability to put food on the table,” said Frankel, who is majority chairman of the committee.
The Health Committee also approved three amendments that would allow exceptions for cigar bars, outdoor patios, home offices, and some private clubs that meet outlined requirements.
Camillia Al-Rokh, who works in hospitality, says it’s not fair for somebody to choose between having a job and exposing themselves to dangerous health risks.
“So to turn around and say that we allowed to blow smoke in their faces and tell them to just deal with it or get another job is the most unhealthy thing that you could ever say to somebody,” Al-Rokh says.
Frankel says 21 states along with Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have smoking bans that include restaurants, bars, and casinos.