Monday, March 10, 2008

Smoking Ban Compromise Discussed

Last summer the House passed a blanket ban on smoking at almost all indoor public sites-- restaurants, bars and other venues.
But a Senate-passed plan includes a number of exceptions -- for casinos, American Legion halls and other sites. Lawmakers cited financial concerns for those establishments.
Sam Monismith, Board Chair for the Pennsylvania Division of the American Cancer Society, says his group is seeking a comprehensive clean indoor air act, with no exceptions.

"When exceptions are made we create literally two classes of Pennsylvanians - Pennsylvanians who are covered by clean indoor air law, and Pennsylvanians who are at greater risk for developing cancer because of their exposure."

The House-Senate Conference Committee must find a compromise to pass what all say is a priority this session. The panel will hold public hearings today and Thursday.

Meantime, the Governor has said he won't sign a "weak" law, but hasn't laid out specific requirements for the measure he would support.

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