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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2016 02:03 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Clean Indoor Air Act amendments
I am reintroducing Senate Bill 567, legislation aimed at strengthening the Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) by eliminating exceptions to the statewide smoking ban, adding e-cigarettes to the law, tightening up and adding definitions and providing for local ordinances.

On September 11, 2008 Pennsylvania joined over 30 states that have some type of indoor smoking ban. Passage of Act 27 represented a major step forward in Pennsylvania by removing secondhand smoke in about 95% of workplaces and public areas in this Commonwealth.

However, Pennsylvania’s CIAA contains a dozen exceptions, including drinking establishments with less than 20 percent food sales, portions of casino floors, and private clubs. These exceptions create confusion and make it harder to implement the law. They also leave some individuals unprotected from secondhand smoke. Furthermore, they provide for an unlevel playing field when some establishments must comply while others do not.

Under my legislation, the following exceptions are removed from the CIAA: (1) Drinking establishments, (2) licensed gaming facility, (3) Private clubs, (4) Residential facilities, (5) Fundraisers, (6) Tobacco promotion events, (7) Full service truck stops and (8) Workplaces of manufacturer, importer or wholesaler of tobacco products. To ensure that smoking is prohibited in these places, they have been added to the definition of “Public place.” I have also added language that prohibits smoking on a patio which is defined as any outdoor deck, patio, or similar outdoor service area which is part of a food or drinking establishment. This revision is similar to a ban contained in the Philadelphia Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law.

The CIAA currently supersedes all local ordinances concerning smoking in public places with the exception of the ordinance in the City of Philadelphia. This legislation would remove the state preemption language and give all political subdivisions the ability to enact smokefree ordinances that are more protective than state law. According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ARNF), 36 states do not preempt local governments from adopting more stringent smokefree rules than state law. Our six neighboring states (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio) do not preempt local smokefree ordinances.

In 2008, Maryland’s smokefree law was extended to include all bars and private social clubs. Smoking continues to be banned at all Maryland casinos, healthcare-related facilities, and truck stops. Municipalities are not preempted. The State of Oregon enacted a smokefree law that went into effect in 2009. It prohibits smoking in all bars, gaming venues, truck stops, and assisted living facilities. Utah and Montana also enacted 100% smokefree bar laws in 2009. The U.S. Virgin Islands enacted a smokefree law in 2011 for all workplaces, restaurants, bars and gaming and American Samoa passed a smokefree restaurant law the same year. In 2012, North Dakota voters approved an initiative that puts into place a comprehensive law prohibiting indoor smoking in places not protected under current state law, including bars, motels, private nursing homes, cabs and public transportation. It also prohibits smoking within 20 feet of an entrance to a public building. A ban on smoking in most public areas including workplaces and gaming facilities approved by the Hancock County Health Board in West Virginia went into effect in July 2015. Finally, Guam enacted a 100% smokefree law for all restaurants and bars which takes effect on January 1, 2017.

The adoption of this legislation will provide Pennsylvania with a truly comprehensive smoking ban law. We would join 25 other states, according to ARNF, with comprehensive smokefree laws. In prior sessions, this measure was supported by the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Introduced as SB519