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Pennsylvania

State Update

State wants landlords to ban smoking
March 14, 2014
By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
Twenty-one percent of Pennsylvania’s adults smoke cigarettes. And if Michael Wolf has his way, none should be able to light up if they live in apartment or condominium complexes.
Wolf, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, delivered that message to landlords at the beginning of the year.
It was more of an encouragement than a mandate. But it appears to have resonated as housing sites across the state have either banned or restricted smoking.
Forty-five of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties now have at least one multiunit housing site that is smoke-free, said Judy Ochs, director of the state Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control. Philadelphia has 15 such complexes, and Chester County 12.
The Housing Authority of Chester County last summer became the first housing authority in Southeastern Pennsylvania to prohibit tenants, guests, employees, and contractors from smoking inside the units or anywhere else on the premises.
“From a marketing standpoint, the heavy smokers used to sit on the front porch, sit there and puff cigarettes all day long. It just looked real bad,” said Dale P. Gravett, the authority’s executive director. “From a legal standpoint, this has been researched to death. As owners of a property, we can adopt policies like this.”
The Philadelphia Housing Authority also is considering such a policy, spokeswoman Nichole L. Tillman said, but would probably phase it in.
On Feb. 1, the Village of Pennbrook Apartments in Levittown banned smoking in all common areas of the Bucks County complex, including inside a parked car. The owner of the complex, AIMCO, is a publicly traded apartment investor that has other properties in Bucks County, Philadelphia, and across the United States that are phasing in smoke-free policies.
“One of our priorities at AIMCO is to provide a healthy, clean, and comfortable environment for our residents,” said AIMCO spokeswoman Cindy Duffy. “We believe our smoke-free amenity supports that goal directly. We see it as a health benefit to have cleaner air.”
People caught smoking in the common areas are warned about the policy and, if they continue to flout it, could be evicted.
But some Pennbrook residents seemed unaware of the policy. On Monday, a man exited from an apartment smoking a cigarette.
“You’re not allowed to smoke here outside? I didn’t know,” said the man, who declined to give his name. He immediately extinguished his cigarette by stubbing it along the sidewalk.
“You can’t smoke outside on the grounds here? That’s ridiculous,” said another resident who also declined to give his name. “My wife and I just moved here, and we smoke.”
Yet another resident said she was aware of the smoking restrictions but that she and her fiance had ignored them.

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An interesting question: Obviously the main enforcement mechanism for this law would be neighbors reporting on the scent of tobacco smoke. Can we safely assume then that this has worked in the past regarding marijuana and that there is no marijuana smoking going on in any of these complexes?
– Michael J. McFadden


Pa. plans trial smoking ban in state parks
Workers spending too much time picking up butts, officials say
Jul 11 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State officials, dealing with complaints about litter, are planning a trial smoking ban in two Pennsylvania state parks next year.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said it’s getting complaints about cigarette butts discarded in lakes and on beaches.
The abundance of butts eats up time maintenance workers would otherwise put to good use, said department spokesman Terry Brady, adding that filtered cigarettes are particularly troublesome because they don’t biodegrade quickly.
Officials haven’t decided which of the state’s 120 parks would be part of the trial ban but at least one would have a body of water.
Local state parks include French Creek State Park in Berks County, Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County, and the Delaware Canal State Park between Easton and Bristol, Bucks Co.
The ban, Brady said, could be extended to all state parks if it’s successful.


Clearing the smoke

December 3, 2010
Kudos to the Trib’s editorial staff (“Sunday pops,” Nov. 28 and TribLIVE.com) in exposing bias in the story “New study: Passive smoke kills 600,000” (Nov. 26).
The intent of the news release was not to justify or confirm another biased study; it was to get the headline out to the masses. Unfortunately the masses seldom go further than reading headlines.
The article stated, “Scientists then estimated … .” True science does not estimate; it measures.
If one would delve further than the article, he would realize, as your editorial staff did, the study was designed to result in the outcome that was sought.
The anti-smoking zealots continually release their dogma through tainted studies and statistics. The masses and many governments have surrendered to the large dollars pushing an agenda of social engineering.
Perhaps the article should be interpreted as 99 percent of the world’s deaths are not caused by passive smoking, so your odds are better to be exposed.
The charade of the anti-smoker extremists should be exposed as other past witch hunts have been.
Robert Gehrmann
The writer is Pennsylvania coordinator for Citizens Freedom Alliance/Smokers Club International.

Court sides with police on smoking
July 23rd, 2010
By Bobby Kerlik, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
The state Supreme Court handed police u nions a victory Thursday: smoke ’em if you got ’em.
The justices ruled that municipal officials cannot ban officers from smoking in police cars or using smokeless tobacco in non-public workplaces unless the ban is part of a collective bargaining agreement.
The 6-0 decision stemmed from Ellwood City’s 2006 tobacco ban in borough buildings, vehicles and equipment.
In writing for the court, Justice Debra Todd said a municipal employer must bargain with a labor organization over such a ban.
“While local legislation which promotes clean air and warns of the risks of tobacco use may be laudatory, it may not serve as a barrier to negotiations over this topic when it constitutes a working condition subject to mandatory bargaining,” Todd wrote.
The statewide implications of the ruling are unclear. Many local departments said smoking on duty hasn’t been an issue.
“It’s never really come up as an issue in Pittsburgh,” said Fraternal Order of Police attorney Bryan Campbell. He said Pittsburgh police rules prohibit smoking in police stations and smoking while in uniform on any public street or when in direct contact with the public.
Officers can smoke in cruisers if they’re alone. If a second officer is in the car, that officer must agree to allow his partner to smoke, Campbell said.
Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole said most of his 45 officers don’t smoke.
“It’s not really an issue out here,” Cole said. “We had an issue a few years ago where one of the guys smoked in the car and other guys complained, but they worked it out themselves.”
Mt. Lebanon officers are prohibited from smoking in police cars, borough buildings and anywhere in view of the public, Lt. Aaron Lauth said.
“Very few officers smoke. I can say it’s not been an issue,” Lauth said. “Definitely a no; you can’t smoke in the cars. I remember back in the day they had a smoking car, where officers who smoked generally got the same car.”
The court overturned a 2008 Commonwealth Court ruling that upheld Ellwood City’s complete prohibition, but the high court ruled officers are prohibited from smoking in public places or inside borough buildings and vehicles used for mass transit because of the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act.
Attorney Chris Cimballa, who represented the Ellwood City Police and Wage and Policy Unit, said the decision is about the rights of officers and firefighters.
“It’s important to the officers, because the borough was trying to unilaterally change a condition of employment,” Cimballa said.
Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court said the decision surprised borough officials. He said most officers in the 14-member department don’t smoke but the issue likely would be used as a bargaining chip.
“I was in favor of the ban. We did it mostly because in the borough building, (using tobacco) didn’t look professional. It’s the same way in the cars; we’re trying to be professional at all times,” Court said.

Teachers U nion’s Objections Sink Smoking Ban in Pennsylvania
Thursday , June 04, 2009
By Andrew Staub
The teachers at Pennsylvania’s state colleges and universities have succeeded in doing what their students couldn’t: overrule a statewide ban on smoking on campus.
Some students in the Keystone State raised a ruckus last September when the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education banned smoking throughout its 14 campuses, including all outdoor areas.
But the students’ outcry went largely unheeded — until their professors chimed in.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), the u nion that represents the 6,000 faculty members and coaches in the state school system, objected to the smoking ban — and last month the state’s Labor Relations Board overturned it, ruling that the education board had failed to negotiate with with the u nion.
The labor board ordered the education board to rescind the smoking ban for u nion members and to “cease and desist” from refusing to negotiate with the u nion.
And though no one has directly said so, it appears that the ruling also frees non-u nion emplyees and students from the smoking restrictions, as well.
That leaves schools such as Clarion, West Chester and Kutztown Universities, among others, with tenuous holds on their smoking bans — much to the delight of smokers like 21-year-old Clarion student Steven Dugan.
“We don’t want to impose our habits on somebody else,” Dugan said. Still, he added, the students wanted everyone else to know it was “our life, our body, our decision…. We weren’t asking for the ability to stand in every doorway to smoke.”
The education system can appeal the decision to the Commonwealth Court, but the system’s spokesman, Kenn Marshall, says officials would rather meet with the u nion, students and other campus representatives to hammer out a “mutually acceptable” agreement that would accommodate the u nion and protect the health of the campus population.
But the u nion’s communications director says the invitation to negotiate has come nine months too late.
“That’s something we feel they should have asked to do up front,” Kevin Kodish said. He added that the u nion would respond if the state system issued a demand to bargain.
Though this latest conflict regarding a public smoking ban has spurred headlines recently, the debate over a tobacco-free campus is nothing new for state universities.
Even before Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect in September, the state system had been moving toward a smoke-free campus, Marshall said. The universities banned smoking indoors long before Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell signed the act prohibiting smoking in many public areas in the state.
Because the act banned smoking in public places, which includes educational facilities, state university officials believed they could ban smoking both indoors and outdoors, because classes are sometimes held outside, Marshall said.
That logic may have been sound, the Labor Relations Board ruled, but the fact that no negotiations took place between the u nion and administrators left the outdoor smoking ban null and void for those in the u nion.
Despite the ban imposed last fall, many students on the Clarion campus continued to smoke, and no student was cited for smoking when the ban was in effect. Now with the ban rescinded — at least for u nion members — Dugan said he’s more than happy to meet with administrators to help find a permanent solution that could accommodate everyone on campus.
“We’d love more than nothing to sit down and say we’re willing to work with you, and we just want the same rights as anyone else,” he said.
While Marshall said there will always be locations where people cannot smoke outdoors on campus, such as directly in front of buildings, he said officials are looking to designate fringe areas of the campus and sidewalks along campus thoroughfares as acceptable outdoor smoking areas.
Administrators have already been talking with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees — which represents about 4,000 clerical and maintenance workers in the state school system — to strike a deal. But they don’t want to stop there.
“The whole goal of this is to protect the health and welfare of our campus population,” Marshall said. “At this point what our next step will be is to sit down with everybody. Hopefully APSCUF will come to the table.”
State Sen. Stewart J. Greenleaf, who worked for more than 15 years to help pass the Clean Indoor Air Act, said though his law regulates only indoor areas, state schools and municipalities are free to regulate outdoor areas as they see fit.
“That’s up to the university to decide that — what’s best for their students,” he said. “But I applaud them for their effort. I think it’s important for them to protect their students and the faculty.”

Pennsylvania labor board reverses ruling on outdoor smoking
by JAN MURPHY, Of The Patriot-News
May 27, 2009
Smokers finally scored a victory in Pennsylvania.
The state Labor Relations Board has ruled that government and other public-sector employers, such as schools, cannot ban outdoor smoking on their properties without their u nions’ consent. The ruling comes after years of smokers coming out on the losing end of battles over higher cigarette taxes and laws restricting where they can light up.
The ruling handed down last week settled a grievance filed against the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education by its faculty and coaches u nion. It nullified the campuswide smoking bans put into effect last fall on they system’s 14 university campuses.
The labor board, which reversed a ruling by a hearing examiner, said the university system committed an unfair labor practice against the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties when it interpreted the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act to apply indoors and outdoors and put that policy in place without u nion approval.
“We’re obviously pleased the full labor board has ruled in our favor,” said Kevin Kodish, a spokesman for the u nion that represents about 5,800 faculty and coaches.
The campus smoking ban coincided with the indoor smoking ban at public places and workplaces that went into effect statewide Sept. 11.
In announcing his interpretation at that time, system Chancellor John Cavanaugh said the law declared smoking illegal in all public places. He said the law defined a public place as “an enclosed area which serves as a workplace, commercial establishment or an area where the public is invited and permitted and included education facilities.”
Because the universities often conduct classes outside, Cavanaugh said, he determined the entire campus fell under the limitations in the law.
Kenn Marshall, a spokesman for the university system, said system officials plan to appeal the labor board’s decision in Commonwealth Court.
“We believe the action we took was still appropriate in accordance with the law,” he said.
Talks continue with the system’s other labor u nions over designating smoking areas on the fringes of campuses or along public thoroughfares that run through campuses, Marshall said. Meanwhile, the smoking ban remains in the educational phase, and Marshall said he knows of no one being cited for violating it.
Unless the labor board’s ruling is overturned, it should put other public employers on notice that “smoking is a bargainable provision, especially if it’s been permitted in the past,” said Christopher Manlove, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor and Industry.
Private employers are exempt from the ruling, he said.
Several midstate employers, including PinnacleHealth Systems and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, have posted their properties as tobacco-free zones.
PinnacleHealth Systems does not have u nion employees so it didn’t have to negotiate when it imposed its smoking ban, a spokeswoman said.
At Hershey Medical Center, the decision to go tobacco-free in January 2007 followed discussions that involved representatives from its two labor u nions, medical center spokeswoman Megan Manlove said.

PA Smoking Ban Violation: Complete List
January 23, 2009
The complete list of Pennsylvania businesses that have been of the state’s smoking ban.


Ship Smoke Out
Watch the video reports on the students beating the ban at one of PA’s state universities!?
http://shipsmokeout.blogspot.com/


Possible Smoking Ban Violators Get Warning Letters
Health Department Notifies Businesses In Western Pa.
January 22, 2009
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Restaurants, volunteer fire departments and other businesses in western Pennsylvania are being warned that they may have violated the new statewide ban on smoking in most public places.
The state Department of Health has sent 329 warning letters throughout Pennsylvania since the Clean Indoor Air Act went into effect, according to documents obtained by The Patriot-News of Harrisburg under the Right-to-Know law.
Letters have dealt with complaints regarding Penn State’s Beaver Stadium, a lawyer’s office, a marketing firm, fire halls, a hair salon and restaurants.
Locally, letters were sent to the Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department, the McDonald’s restaurant at Westmoreland Mall, Latrobe Specialty Steel, Ironwood Grill in Indiana, Cafe Supreme Restaurant and Lounge in Irwin, and several more establishments.
Repeated complaints may prompt an investigation and could lead to fines of up to $1,000.
The law forbids smoking in most workplaces and public spaces, but some businesses are exempt. A full list of the approved exceptions is posted on the health department’s Web site.

Interview: On Dec. 18th 2008, the well known author and hostess of “Marketing for Fun and Profit” interviewed the author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” and “TobacckoNacht! – The Story” about his background, thoughts, writings, and efforts to get those thoughts and writings out to a wider public. A comfortable and entertaining 30 minute interview ranging from marketing QumQuats to shooting pregnant smokers in parking lots. Listen.

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Mike McFadden has just released a teaser of his next project to the public and it promises to stir up some noise from the Antismokers who are already having conniptions over a certain Englishman who’s been styling them as Nazis in his YouTube productions.

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Mr. McFadden’s work is titled “TobakkoNacht – The Story” and is available for the moment only on Amazon’s Kindle.? His introduction explains the reason for the choice of title as he is aware that such references to Nazi atrocities are seen by some to take away from the importance of remembering their true nature.? But he also points out that while sharing early versions of his tale he was shocked at how few people seemed to remember or even recognize where it came from: Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass when the Nazis first fully exposed their hatred of the Jews for the world to see… and sadly ignore.? He hopes that one side-effect of TobakkoNacht!? will be to revive the memory of what happened in 1930s’ Germany and remind people that such things can happen again if we carelessly give up our small freedoms a slice at a time.
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“TobakkoNacht – The Story”? is a novelette, a long short story less than 10,000 words in length, but is buttressed by the inclusion of an additional shorter story, “Breathers,” and two chapters, “Hate” and “Lies,” from his seminal “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains.”? “TobakkoNacht – The Book” is planned for hardcopy publication within the next few months and will include the novelette as well as a number of other nonfiction, opinion, and satirical writings by the Brains author.?
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Anyone who has a Kindle or who knows anyone who has a Kindle should download this, read it, and share it.? That way when you hear the rumblings from California you’ll know it’s not an earthquake… it’s just Stanton Glantz having a massive case of indigestion.
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“TobakkoNacht – The Story” by Michael J. McFadden can be seen and purchased for $1.35 on Amazon at:
Amazon.com: TobakkoNacht!?? – The Story: Kindle Store: Michael J. McFadden
“Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains” itself is also still available of course and is most highly recommended for anyone either fighting the Antismokers or who is worried about how much truth there is to the whole secondhand smoke scare.


Antismoking bias
Dec. 15, 2008
The amount of editorial bias displayed in Wednesday’s article “Suspended smoking ban didn’t help casinos in November” was outrageous.
The story ignored the fact that the ban was still in place Nov. 1-16, and it did not even ask, much less seek to answer, the question of what the casinos’ losses might have been if the ban continued. Nor did the story compare loss figures for the banned half of November to the free-choice half.
And while the article did mention that Harrah’s was up about 9 percent, it neglected to note that although Harrah’s slots were down 12 percent in the free-choice period of October, they plunged to a loss of 20 percent during the ban.
Finally, while the story noted the month-long average loss of 7.8 percent, it ignored the fact that the first smoking-ban week in October had seen losses of 19.5 percent. A better headline, more honestly reflective of the real news, would have been “Lifting of smoking ban cuts casino losses by more than half.”
Michael J. McFadden
Philadelphia


State may loosen up outdoor smoking ban
December 04, 2008
HARRISBURG (AP) — Smokers fuming over a three-month-old outdoor campus smoking ban at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities may soon get a reprieve.
Administrators at the State System of Higher Education are proposing to relax parts of the ban following recent discussions with three employee u nions that have opposed it, system spokesman Kenn Marshall said.
The system also is considering providing receptacles for cigarette butts on the campus perimeters, Marshall said.
“What we’re finding on some of the campuses is that’s where people are congregating to smoke,” he said Wednesday. “We don’t want them throwing cigarette butts on neighbors’ properties.”
System Chancellor John Cavanaugh ordered the outdoor smoking ban in September, when a new statewide indoor smoking ban took effect. Cavanaugh said he interpreted the law to include all campus grounds — particularly because some classes are held outside.
Darrin Spann, a liaison to the universities for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 13, said he was encouraged by the proposal. The u nion represents about 4,000 state system employees.
“I think we are now miles away from where we started,” Spann said.
Kevin Kodish, a spokesman for the 5,900-member Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, said the u nion was in “confidential talks” with the system about the outdoor smoking ban. If the discussions yield no resolution, the u nion will go ahead with a Dec. 23 unfair labor practice hearing before the state Labor Relations Board, Kodish said Wednesday.
The 600-member State College and University Professional Association also is discussing the policy with system officials.

Have smoking bans jumped the shark?
September 16, 2008
by J.D. Tuccille, Civil Liberties Examiner
At Pennsylvania’s Clarion University, something remarkable happened yesterday: a “smoke-in” defying state law. No, it wasn’t a pro-marijuana protest; it was a pro-tobacco protest — and that’s remarkable.
About 50 Clarion University of Pennsylvania students protested a new ban on smoking on state-owned campuses today, calling the prohibition that forbids lighting up even outdoors unfair and unenforceable. …
University officials handed them yellow cards warning them that they risk fines or disciplinary action. Some of the protesters responded by putting tobacco on the cards, rolling them up and lighting them so they could be smoked.
It’s not just Clarion University. The new ban has been interpreted as applying even to outdoor spaces at colleges and universities, because classes and events are often held in the open air. Responses by ticked-off students have been widespread.
With virtually no warning, smoking at 14 of Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities has been banned anywhere on campus — even outdoors.
The action has sparked protests around the state by some of the 110,000 students in the State System of Higher Education, who received word of the ban by e-mail late Wednesday — a day before a new state law forbidding smoking in most workplaces and public spaces took effect. …
Students who feel the policy is too extreme have organized peaceful protests of smokers and sympathetic nonsmokers on at least three of the 14 Pennsylvania campuses, and there is talk of a coordinated statewide demonstration later this week.
College campuses are one of the more reliable cultural barometers. They’re not consistently libertarian, and they’re not consistently authoritarian. But, from marijuana to speech codes, they are good indicators of where the culture is going at the moment, and what the attitude of young adults is toward current legal trends.
So when college students start protesting smoking bans as excessively intrusive, arguing, “I’m standing outside. I should have the right to smoke outside,” there’s a good chance that the tidewaters of the anti-smoking jihad have reached their high water mark and are beginning to recede.
Pennsylvania’s statewide ban, passed in June and signed by Governor Ed Rendell, was intended to be wide-reaching, with even more intrusions promised by the bill’s sponsor, who regretted the exemptions required to win political support. “I believe that within several years we are going to see legislation to strengthen the law and place more broad restrictions on all public places in the state,” State Senator Stewart Greenleaf told reporters.
That intolerant, prohibitionist attitude may have produced the sort of legislative overreaching that sparks public reactions — and gets college kids marching in opposition.


State grants exemption to smoking ban
November 8, 2008
By Adam Brandolph TRIBUNE-REVIEW
So much for the smoking ban.
The state Department of Health granted more than 1,700 exceptions to the statewide ban that took effect Sept. 11, and more than 350 establishments in Allegheny County are among them.
More than 200 bars and restaurants with Pittsburgh addresses are exempt, including 14 on East Carson Street in the South Side, according to state records posted online early Friday.
“The law provided for a variety of exceptions; it wasn’t comprehensive,” said Cindy Thomas, executive director of Tobacco Free Allegheny. “We were looking for a more comprehensive ban.”
At Jack’s Rose Bar in the South Side, bartender Bunnie Zwolinski said customers haven’t noticed the exemption notice, which is posted behind the bar.
“If anyone has, they haven’t said anything to me,” Zwolinski said. “It’s been business as usual.”
The list of bars that are exempt “absolutely does not” negate the purpose of the smoking ban, said Chuck Ardo, spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell, who signed the Clean Indoor Air Act in June.
“The governor would have preferred far fewer exemptions, but had to accept a bill that would get the support of the Legislature,” Ardo said. “The smoking ban was designed to help protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke, and it certainly is succeeding in doing that by a wide margin.”
The statewide ban allows bars where food sales account for less than 20 percent of all business to be exempt. The law forbids smoking in most workplaces and public spaces, including restaurants, train stations, office buildings and sports arenas.
The ban is difficult for smokers like Raymond Brown, 48, of Arlington, who has walked out of bars that didn’t allow him to smoke inside.
“If I can’t enjoy myself, it’s not worth going in and spending my money,” Brown said. “I’d rather sit at home.”
But it’s been a blessing for Rob Rowan, 33, of the South Side, who said he doesn’t want his 2-year-old son, Max, exposed to secondhand smoke.
“I don’t mind it in bars because I’ve come to expect it, but my son doesn’t need to inhale smoke at restaurants,” he said. “Not at his age.”
The list of exempt bars includes only “type-1” applicants, which are bars and taverns, state Health Department spokeswoman Holli Senior said.
The department is working to approve “type-2” applications from mostly bar-restaurant establishments that have to meet certain standards, such as having separate outside entrances for each area, she said. The category includes cigar bars and cigarette shops that can allow smoking but must obtain exception approval.
Elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania, the state granted exemptions to 19 bars in Butler County, 38 in Beaver County, 54 in Washington County and 62 in Westmoreland County. Private clubs, casinos and nursing homes can be exempt from the law, although private clubs are not required to notify the state if they choose to permit smoking.
Thomas said she anticipates lawmakers will introduce stricter legislation next year. “One that protects everyone’s health,” she said.
As of Wednesday, the Health Department received 771 complaints about smoking-ban violations, Senior said. Violation notification letters were sent to 170 establishments so far. She could not confirm how many were mailed to Allegheny County businesses.
Senior said the department received nearly 1,500 online inquiries and 1,800 phone calls from business owners who had questions about the smoking ban. Businesses or people who break the law face fines of up to $250 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for repeat offenses.
Joe Reichenbacher, events coordinator at Belvedere’s in Lawrenceville, which has an exemption, said the staff there determines whether to have a nonsmoking section based on the clientele on certain nights.
“On some nights, if we had to follow the ban, most of our clientele would be outside (smoking) the entire time,” Reichenbacher said. “Other nights have been completely smoke-free.”
Reichenbacher said he’s lucky he can give customers the best of both worlds.
“There are benefits to both sides. The smoking ban is doing really good things on a larger level, but (the Legislature) didn’t make it across-the-board; they gave exemptions,” he said. “Our goal is to keep everyone happy.”
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The PA health dept site for a statewide, by county, list of exempted places. A good tool for people living in or traveling into PA.

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Dear Editor, Of bans and fanatics…
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Adam Brandolph leads off his Nov. 8th article about the exemptions to the state smoking ban with the editorial note “So much for the smoking ban.” as though the number of exemptions make it worthless.
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There are roughly 2,000 exemptions so far, mainly small bars employing at most an average of ten people, so we’re looking at exemptions that allow 20,000 people to work in smoking establishments.
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Pennsylvania has a population of 12 million, with probably a third of that, 4 million, being working adults.? Doing? a little math lets one determine that this smoking ban that’s supposedly filled with loopholes is protecting 3,980,000 of 4 million workers. That’s 99.5% of the working population.? Only one half of a single percent of Pennsylvania’s working adults are allowed to work in Free-Choice establishments.? Since about 25% of PA adults smoke at least occasionally and might like to be able to smoke on the job, that means the exemptions should actually be expanded by roughly 50 times, or 5,000%, in order to give the population a fair shake at Free-Choice.
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And yet that measly one half of one percent exemption makes antismoking fanatics so enraged that they simply dismiss the entire ban as being almost worthless, filled with loopholes, and in need of urgent revision.
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If there are any redefinitions of guidelines to be made I’d say the most urgent one is a redefinition of the word fanaticism so that it more clearly points to the antismoking lobby as a prime example.
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Michael J. McFadden
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”
Mid-Atlantic Director, Citizens Freedom Alliance
Director, Pennsylvania Smokers Action Network (PASAN)


IPCPR Urges Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Ban Smoking Bans
Oct 16, 2008
Ban the bans. That’s what the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association has been urging since the Pennsylvania smoking ban became law on Sept. 11 and the Philadelphia ban was enacted two years earlier. The state law forbids smoking in most indoor workplaces and public spaces. At the same time, it currently allows a variety of exemptions that some legislators want to eliminate with an amendment in January. Philadelphia’s even more stringent ban remains in effect.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (PRWEB) October 16, 2008 — Ban the bans. That’s what the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association has been urging since the Pennsylvania smoking ban became law on Sept. 11 and the Philadelphia ban was enacted two years earlier.
The state law forbids smoking in most indoor workplaces and public spaces. At the same time, it currently allows a variety of exemptions that some legislators want to eliminate with an amendment in January. Philadelphia’s even more stringent ban remains in effect.
“The smoking bans should be eliminated, not the exemptions. The bans violate the constitutional rights of private business owners and individual citizens and are based on false information regarding secondhand smoke. Even the Surgeon General’s 2006 report says the evidence regarding secondhand smoke is ‘insufficient’ to draw any conclusions regarding its effect on the health of non-smokers,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of IPCPR which represents more than 70 cigar store owners – largely family-owned businesses – throughout the state.
“In addition to the Surgeon General stating that the evidence is inconclusive regarding the health aspects of secondhand smoke, OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – doesn’t regard secondhand smoke as an occupational or environmental hazard either,” McCalla said.
McCalla pointed out that OSHA has established safe exposure levels for secondhand smoke and has shown that “field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that it would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that (those levels would be exceeded).”
McCalla also cited secondhand smoke air quality testing conducted by the American Cancer Society that showed secondhand smoke concentrations are up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA standards. In addition, he said, Oak Ridge National Laboratory testing confirms that results of air quality testing of secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants “were considerably below limits established by OSHA.”
“So, it is with all due respect to the legislature that we believe they got it wrong when it comes to secondhand smoke. As a result, they are unfairly depriving business owners their constitutional rights to run their businesses as they choose,” he said.
“Our nation’s founders opposed government intervention into matters better left to the people. That includes private property – like businesses – where owners should have the right to decide whether or not to allow smoking on their premises. Customers and employees then have the right to patronize or work at those businesses,” he pointed out.
Contact:???
Tony Tortorici
678/493-0313
tony@tortoricipr.com

Businesses brace for smoking ban
By RICK KAZMER, Daily American Staff Writer
August 25, 2008
The smoke is about to clear for many local businesses.
On Sept. 11 the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act becomes effective — ending a 90-day grace period Gov. Ed Rendell gave many restaurant and business owners to indoctrinate their patrons with the idea of a smoke free environment.
“Smoking and secondhand smoke kills and costs our health care system billions of dollars in Pennsylvania. It only makes sense for us to attack this problem and the public overwhelmingly supports these protections,” , Rendell said in a prepared statement that was released after he signed the law in June.
But there are some who see the law as the arm of an overbearing government butting in on what should be decisions made by business owners.
“We have no choice in it,” said Susan Glessner, manager of The Tracks in Somerset. “It is not up to the government to tell us what to do.”
Glessner said around 35 or 40 percent of The Track’s patrons smoke.
“A lot of people are upset,” said Glessner, who is expecting business to suffer as a result of the law. “People even ask us to turn into a club to allow smoking.”
Private clubs are exempt from the law. So are designated drinking establishments where no more than 20 percent of revenue is generated from food sales.
Jean Pletcher, owner of Mel’s Restaurant and Bar in Somerset, is hoping her business falls under that category.
“We have owned the business for 80 years. This ought to be our decision,” Pletcher said. “They want to stick their nose in everything.”
Under the law, Rendell said the state is trying to protect the noses of non-smokers in public areas.
That’s why the measure outlaws smoking in the workplace and areas of entertainment.
Homer Sleek said he has been easing a no-smoking policy on the people who frequent his bowling alley. Sleek owns Terrace Lanes Bowling Center in Somerset.
“We are putting it (no-smoking policy) into effect today,” Sleek said Monday.
Sleek estimated about 15 to 20 percent of bowlers in his alley smoke.
“That has dwindled down from the ‘70s and ‘80s when it was probably 50 or 60 percent,” he said.
Sleek said he doesn’t expect the law to cut into his business.
“I am anxious to see,” he said. “I think it is a good thing for the public.”


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