PA Smoking Ban Will Finally Become Law
Pennsylvania will soon finally join the rest of the northeast, the majority of the US, and many of the world’s nations by adopting a public smoking ban. After a committee last week produced a bill and the House passed it, the Senate today also passed it. It will become law 90 days from the date that Governor Ed Rendell signs it, which he has said that he plans to do quickly.
You can read the ridiculous smoking ban timeline that the PA legislature has traveled over the past year or so.
The public smoking ban will have the following exemptions:
- up to 25 percent of the rooms in hotels
- designated outdoor smoking areas at sports or recreation facilities, theaters, etc
- bars whose annual food sales are 20% or less
- cigar bars
- tobacco shops
- private clubs
- up to 50 percent of casino gaming halls
- long-term care facilities
- private homes, residences and vehicles unless they are used for child-care, rehab, or mental health services
You’d be forgiven for thinking that, with such a list of exemptions, this bill resembles swiss cheese more than a smoking ban. And in fact, part of the bill is that Philadelphia’s existing, stronger smoking ban will still stand. But this is still a huge step in the right direction for PA, and in my case for instance, only the hotel and arena/theater exemptions will affect me, and then only rarely.