Pennsylvania Lawmaker Seeks to Remove Smoking Ban Exemptions

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A Pennsylvania state senator has announced plans to introduce a bill that would remove the majority of exemptions to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008, and if passes, would seemingly mean an end to smoking in cigar shops as well as a number of other places.

Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Millcreek Township, told GoErie.com that he plans to introduce the legislation this year, with PAPost.org noting that it could come before the end of June. Among the places that qualify for exemptions under the current law and thus the targets of the proposed bill are private clubs, drinking establishments where food makes up less than 20 percent of business receipts, outdoor patios and decks of bars and restaurants, and manufacturers, importers and wholesalers of tobacco products. Laughlin’s planned bill would also eliminate smoking at full-service truck stops, fundraisers held by non-profit and charitable organizations, as well as long-term residential adult care and service facilities and those that provide treatment programs.

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Laughlin is also seeking to ban the use of e-cigarettes wherever the smoking of tobacco products is prohibited.

There is one category of places that wouldn’t lose their exemption, however: casinos. Laughlin said that they tend to a better job circulating and cleaning the air within and thus have earned the continued exemption.

In the article, Laughlin admitted that the proposal hasn’t garnered much interest from fellow lawmakers, but feels it is worth pursuing for the sake of protecting workers from having to inhale secondhand smoke.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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