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Old 06-26-2007, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default You can't smoke there!

http://www.centredaily.com/116/story/135725.html

Pa. Senate OK exceptions to smoking ban bill

HARRISBURG -- Senators carved loopholes into legislation Monday to ban smoking in many public and work places in Pennsylvania, inserting partial or complete exemptions for slot-machine parlors, private clubs, bars and cigar bars.

A single amendment creating the exemptions passed, 29-21, setting up the newly changed bill for a final vote as early as today. It was not clear late Monday if the House would take up a similar bill today.

Two hours of debate on the bill revolved around protecting public health versus preserving individual liberties, although opponents of the exemptions took most of the time to lambaste them as watering down legislation for the public good.

The amendment also would upend the ban put in place last year in Philadelphia and outlaw other local governments from enforcing a smoking ban.

From wire reports

Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, who sponsored the original bill and has worked for a decade to pass such a ban, pitched the bill as a way to protect hospitality-sector workers who are exposed to smoke on the job and have far higher cancer rates.

"So we're basically saying we're throwing those people away healthwise," he said.

Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Allegheny, called the exemptions "disgusting gobbledygook," and Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, said the changes were like "a pig in lipstick" being billed as a beauty queen.

"There's nothing that we're banning here," Williams said.

Sen. Charles McIlhinney, R-Bucks, who wrote the amendment, said a broadly worded smoking ban did not have the votes to pass the Senate, and insisted that individual liberties deserved a place in the debate.

"This is not to be taken lightly, we are stripping away individual public liberties here," McIlhinney said.

He said the exemption would apply to just a few thousand out of a million-plus publicly accessible buildings. However, Greenleaf said most of those buildings still in the ban were already smoke-free, and Ferlo challenged the liberties argument, saying the right to smoke is not being taken away.

Twenty-seven states have approved smoking bans, albeit some with exemptions, and Illinois is poised to become the 28th.

Gov. Ed Rendell has made an indoor smoking ban a part of his broader plan to cut health care costs, breathing life into an issue that has had little traction in the Legislature.

The bill would ban smoking in arenas, stores, restaurants, convention halls, shopping malls and more, but would exempt private homes, one-quarter of the rooms in a lodging establishment and tobacco-related businesses, like wholesalers and retailers.

The changes added exemptions for cigar bars, private clubs, bars where food is one-fifth or less of its gross sales, charitable fundraisers where cigars are sold and one quarter of the gambling floors at slots parlors.

The private-club exemption, echoing language in state liquor law, would apparently extend to veterans' clubs, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts; Elks and Moose lodges; volunteer fire and rescue halls; political clubs; and country clubs.

Greenleaf said he worried that some establishments, seeking to avoid the ban, would find creative ways to fit into the exemptions.

Sen. John Wozniak, D-Cambria, tried unsuccessfully to tighten the exemption for private clubs, saying many are nothing more than "drinking holes" that should be held to the same food-to-drink sales threshold as the exemption for bars.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Maryland just passed the law that you cant smoke in bars and restaurants. That takes effect in Feb. and Im not looking forward to it. Im a social smoker but still its going to suck in the winter. Guess thats just a reason to quit totally.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Keep taking away those freedoms big brother.....good job PA!
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

I know Allegheny County Passed an ordinance that says you can't smoke in some of the places stated in the article. I know PNC Park is one of them just from going to a Pirates game earlier this year and I'm predicting Heinz Field and maybe Mellon Arena(even though they have a designated area outside the arena) to follow suit.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Isn't it amazing that PA wants to ban smoking but still charges us smokers a huge tax on every pack/carton of cigs which benefits non-smokers as well? This year on my PA tax return, I am claiming an exemption for all of the cigarette tax I've paid this year - I'm keeping track of it religiously.

If this bill is ultimately approved (and once again, probably will be smacked down by the courts) I am taking the same stance as I have taken with PNC Park. The first drunk that I see in a restaurant, bar or other facility, I'm lighting up. Sucks, though, that when I get thrown in a jail cell, I won't be able to smoke there either - LOL!
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Heres a news flash, smoking is really bad for you.

I don't smoke. I don't want to breath anyones second hand smoke. If you want to kill yourself thats your perogative, but don't go sign up for medicare and expect me to pay for your oxygen tank and all the medical bills that go along with your future health problems.

Banning smoking in public places isn't taking away anyones rights, it enforces everyones right to breath clean air.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Either ban tobacco all together or don't ban it at all. Last I checked it wasn't on the list with crack or reefer. We already have smoking and non-smoking sections. If that doesn't make enough people happy than too bad. It's funny, a guy can go into a bar, drink himself silly, get in his car and kill a family of four, but watch out for those smokers who are secluded to their own area of the joint!!! lol. If these joints want to ban smoking, go for it. But I do have a problem with big brother telling me where and when I can smoke a perfectly legal product.

What cracks me up about this whole joke of a bill. Countless numbers of hours have been spent analyzing the in and outs of a smoking ban. How many feet from a door we can smoke, how much revenue a restaurant must generate to be considered smoking or not, etc. etc. etc.. Yet ... "The law is not clear as to what constitutes neglect and abuse" as far as leaving children home alone, according to the Butler County district attorney. Five kids ended up dead two weeks ago because our 'priorities' are needed elsewhere...lol.

Eitherway, I see the courts throwing this one out. At least I hope they do.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
Isn't it amazing that PA wants to ban smoking but still charges us smokers a huge tax on every pack/carton of cigs which benefits non-smokers as well? This year on my PA tax return, I am claiming an exemption for all of the cigarette tax I've paid this year - I'm keeping track of it religiously.

If this bill is ultimately approved (and once again, probably will be smacked down by the courts) I am taking the same stance as I have taken with PNC Park. The first drunk that I see in a restaurant, bar or other facility, I'm lighting up. Sucks, though, that when I get thrown in a jail cell, I won't be able to smoke there either - LOL!
SMOKEING IS BAD FOR YOU
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan View Post
Heres a news flash, smoking is really bad for you.

I don't smoke. I don't want to breath anyones second hand smoke. If you want to kill yourself thats your perogative, but don't go sign up for medicare and expect me to pay for your oxygen tank and all the medical bills that go along with your future health problems.

Banning smoking in public places isn't taking away anyones rights, it enforces everyones right to breath clean air.
When the government is enforcing that ban, that is exactly what they are doing. The politicians like Ferlo say "nobody's taking away anyone's right to smoke," and of course the sheeple fall for it hook, line and sinker. They should leave it up to the individual business owners, plain and simple. Most public places are already smoke-free and plenty of restaurants, clubs and bars are already smoke free. So if you don't want to be around second-hand smoke, then go to one of those places, and leave the smokers alone.

And BTW, this is coming from a non-smoker.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: You can't smoke there!

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SMOKEING IS BAD FOR YOU
So is drinking. Don't hear about the government trying to ban that, do you? It didn't work too well the first time they tried.
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