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02/29/2024 09:54 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20210&cosponId=37049
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 16, 2022 02:43 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Protecting Workers From Secondhand Smoke Act
 
This General Assembly banned smoking in most workplaces in 2008, when nearly 21 percent of adults in America smoked.
 
But while the number of smokers has sunk to 14 percent, we’ve also concentrated the health risks of second hand smoke to a few remaining, unprotected workplaces.
 
Casinos, private clubs, and some drinking establishments expose their workers to untenable health risks by taking advantage of loopholes in our Clean Indoor Air Act.
 
Pennsylvanians should not have to choose between their jobs and their health. That’s why I’ll soon be reintroducing my legislation to close the loopholes that threaten the health of Pennsylvania workers.
 
This legislation is not just good for health, it’s also good for business. It levels the playing field in the industry, allowing all businesses to operate safely and fairly.
 
A growing body of evidence suggests that smoke-free environments attract more customers, not fewer. 
 
Pennsylvania’s casinos were forced to close their doors for a significant part of 2020. The ability to reopen came with a host of new challenges, including universal mask use and no smoking. They also had limited alcohol, no buffet, no entertainment, capacity limits and a near elimination of tour buses, and corporate events.
 
And yet, on the days that they were open, revenues went UP.
 
My legislation will accomplish three major goals: 
  • Eliminate loopholes that leave workers exposed to cancerous secondhand smoke,
  • Expand the definition of smoking to include e-cigarettes, to combat the increase in vaping-related illnesses, and
  • Give all localities the ability to enact smoke-free ordinances that are more protective than state law.
If we cannot count on private businesses to do the right thing even when it’s the financially smart thing, then it’s time for political leaders to step in and insist on the protection of the health of our constituents.
 



Introduced as SB1309