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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2019 10:11 AM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Clean Indoor Air Act Amendments
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce Senate Bill 519 of last session, 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.

As a prime-sponsor of similar legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, I signed onto Senate Bill 519 of 2017 as the second co-sponsor when I came to the Senate since Senator Greenleaf was already the prime sponsor in this respective body.

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 many 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 un-level playing field when some establishments must comply while others do not.

Under this 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.” This legislation also contains 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 smoke-free 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 smoke-free rules than state law. Our six neighboring states (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio) do not preempt local smoke-free ordinances.

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 smoke-free 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.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.