Today, a committee of the Philadelphia City Council approved exemptions for four establishments in regards to the city’s smoking ban, but they very well could be the last four.
A pub, two gentlemen’s clubs and a private club were granted exemptions by the Public Health and Human Services committee after successfully arguing that they should be included amongst the 70 or so bars that already have exemptions from the 2007 smoking ban. According to CBS Philly, the businesses argued that they were disadvantaged by not being able to allow smoking when competitors did.
Shortly after the vote, KYW Newsradio reported that the City Council and Mayor Michael Nutter were preparing a bill, likely to be introduced tomorrow, that would remove the ability for any further exemptions to be granted.
The Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law went into effect in January 2007. The original bill exempted tobacco distributors, tobacco stores, one-quarter of hotel rooms and sidewalk cafes. Private clubs and bars were allowed to apply for exemptions, so long as they met certain requirements, and applied within 90 days of the new law going into effect.