Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The statewide smoking ban in Pennsylvania is not two months old and at least one organization thinks it is starting to work. Smoke Free Allegheny Executive Director Cindy Thomas says the state has already received some complaints and sent out warning letters. She says when Smoke Free Allegheny made a few spot checks at private club bingos to help with the education process, they found that the ashtrays were gone and the no smoking signs were posted. In Allegheny county 396 bars applied for an exception based on revenues for food 20-percent. 361 were approved by the state. Additionally 97 liquor licenses holders in the county applied under the type two exception which allows facilities with physically separate bar and restaurant facilities to obtain an exception for the bar area. Thomas says it looks like about two thirds will be approved by the state. She says Allegheny County was used as a pilot area for those exceptions. She says now that tobacco free has done the inspections and reported back to the state the department of health will move forward on inspecting the rest of the state.