A pair of bills sitting in the Pennsylvania House and Senate aim to expand a smoking ban to some of the places where smoking is still permitted in the state, including casinos and private clubs. The bills go too far.
There is no debate that smoking is hazardous to your health. Studies also prove second-hand smoke is equally, if not more, hazardous to those people around you. Until an overall ban on smoking passes public muster, limiting where smokers can puff away in public places goes too far.
Senate Bill 80, by state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, and House Bill 1485, by state Rep. Mario Scavello, seek to eliminate the exemptions in the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008. Those exceptions include places such as tobacco shops, casino floors, private clubs (American Legion and VFW), truck stops with shower facilities and bars where food makes up 20 percent or less of gross sales, according to the Associated Press.
People can choose when and where they eat, drink and gamble. They can avoid a bar where smoking is allowed, or they can seek it out. Many do, including Carlisle’s West End Cafe on Ritner Highway, where manager Robin Zinn says the smoking policy sets the establishment apart from others in the area. It also provides a choice.
That’s still key here because smoking isn’t illegal. And while safety should always be a top priority, we’re allowed to eat fast food, donuts and ice cream when they clearly don’t have positive effects on our health.
You should have some options to run a business — and vist one — that allows smoking.