Drastic New Pennsylvania Smoking Ban Proposed

Dive bars, casinos, restaurant patios, and private clubs are all on the hit list.


PHOTO: Jauhien Sasnou


Those of you who still like to smoke cigarettes in dives like McGlinchey’s and Locust Bar or light up cigars on the deck or patio of your favorite restaurant may soon be out of luck thanks to a Pennsylvania smoking ban proposed by State Senator Stewart Greenleaf and State Representative Mario Scavello.

I read through Senate Bill No. 80 and House Bill No. 1485, looking for the usual list of exemptions, and there are very few.

The Senate bill seeks a Pennsylvania smoking ban that will include all of the following:

• A full service truck stop.
• A residential facility.
• A private club.
• A drinking establishment.
• A gaming floor.
• Any outdoor deck, patio or similar outdoor service which is part of a food or drinking establishment.

As for “residential facility,” don’t worry, the proposed Pennsylvania smoking ban won’t prohibit you from smoking in your home. At least not yet. This term covers places like adult care facilities.

Aaron Zappia, Greenleaf’s spokesperson, says that the only real exemption in the Senate bill is for cigar lounges, since, as he puts it, “people go there specifically to smoke.” Hmm. I’ll try to keep myself from wondering how many state legislators like to light up a stogie now and again.

Greenleaf led the charge for the 2008 Pennsylvania smoking ban. “It’s just a killer,” Greenleaf told The Intelligencer earlier this week. “So as it becomes more and more unacceptable, we’d like to get this bill passed.”

POLL: Should the State Tighten the Smoking Ban?

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  • Mark Galan

    I don’t think drastic is the word to be used here. Now you cannot smoke on bar decks. OK.

    • Jack Cotter

      What? A total ban at dive bars and casinos is going to affect a ton of people.

  • fantaseas

    Why should MY rights be stomped on as a non smoker at a bar deck? No smoking should be the rule. PERIOD.

    • Cville

      Your right is to go to a place that doesn’t allow smoking. Leave it up to bar owner and let the market decide instead of these totalitarian, thug tactics of the nanny state.

    • Debbie

      You’re a little brat, very selfish thinking only of yourself.

    • psufan69

      I don’t smoke but I don’t want to be in a bar that would allow you in it. 90% plus bars are now non smoking. If you can’t avoid the small percentage that allow smoking, you have a problem.

  • Michelle Piacentini Kao

    If it’s a smoking bar and you’re a non smoker DO NOT GO THERE. there 10000s other places you can go. It’s just bs. I was fine with the first bill. But this is getting out of hand.

    • Pickee

      Why are you so mad? Tell me those aren’t your kids in your profile.

      • Michelle Piacentini Kao

        Yes they are my kids. No I do not smoke in my house. I do not smoke in my car. And I get very upset if I see people doing that. This has nothing to do with my children. So do not comment on them. This is about rights of ADULTS IN ADULT places. Like a smoking bar. This is taking away rights of people. That’s why I am mad. If I go to a non smoking bar, I do not smoke. So if a nonsmoker goes into a smoking bar, well they can expect there to be smoke. But please do not being my children into this.

  • Philatonian

    It’s already illegal to smoke on patios and places like McGlinchey’s and Locust Bar. Will the city be able to enforce a new, redundant law if it isn’t even aware of the previous laws it passed?

    • http://tobakkonacht.com/ Michael J. McFadden

      Philatonian, you should do some reading before you post. There are roughly 100 bars in Philadelphia that filed for and got exemptions to the ban.

      – MJM

  • Cville

    Nanny Greenleaf and Son and Nanny Scavello at it again. Republicans either support the free market or they don’t. It’s time for the GOP to denounce and defund these busybody people once and for all or there’s no point in having a Republican Party. Let people make up their own mind – for example, let all places allow smoking as long as they put a warning sign or something out front (e.g., restaurants, bars, nightclubs). The PA GOP better not ask for any money from me if this is how it’s spent.

  • Vince McFadden

    This is a joke. Free country huh? What next? Where do they stop? No Smoking Government mandated health insurance, and trying to ban guns. Lets keep turning a blind eye because we are “to busy”. FREE COUNTRY WILL NO LONGER EXIST AT THIS RATE!!!!!

    • crateish

      ‘They iz comin’ to git R gunz!’

      IN ALL CAPS!!!!

    • http://tobakkonacht.com/ Michael J. McFadden

      Hey! Good name Vince!


    • concerned

      Free country doesn’t mean you can haarm others with your stinky smoke!

      • slippy

        So to this end… I you are a person uses too much perfume/cologne or a scent that I find displeasing… I can have you banned and fined for this…. Some people wear cologne to the extent that it verges on chemical warfare… what about people that enjoy pungent foods like say curries… Can I also regulate that?

  • Ron Lapaconski

    they will lose all the tax bucks they make. so they r shooting their own foot

  • phillysportsfan

    I used to smoke and i have no sympathy for smokers. they should put a $10/pack tax on them too. and a $10000 fine if they catch you with an untaxed pack.

    you used to be able to smoke everywhere, elevators, banks, airplanes. now you can’t. was it “totalitarian” to outlaw smoking in hospitals? a governmental overreach? should it have been left up to airlines to let you smoke up in a sealed metal tube? i don’t think so. and yes, pretty soon you won’t be able to smoke cigarettes anywhere. good riddance.

    • Debbie

      You’re a childish bully. You can make your own decision and so can we, plus you are very selfish thinking only of yourself. What right do you think you have to tell me what to do?? Yes, we could smoke everywhere and please provide proof that secondhand smoke was harmful back then, it annoyed some people that was it. How about overtaxing them like you said and give all those taxes to the black market or underground economy and promote criminal activity over tobacco??? That does not make sense, ok??

    • ScottEwing

      I do think so. As with prohibition, this ‘experiment’ will fail as the general public comes to realize that tobacco control isn’t about tobacco. But hey, it’s a free country. Keep right on drinking the kool-aid.

  • http://tobakkonacht.com/ Michael J. McFadden

    The cigar lounge exemption is what’s known as a “sop” — a throw-away trifle that’s offered by a negotiator in order to make their unreasonable demands *seem* a bit more reasonable. Of course once they get the rest of the bans nailed down they’ll come back and grab the lounges… who by then will be too few and too isolated to be able to fight. Meanwhile they’ve succeeded in keeping them quiet in the present battle. Kind of like what the Germans did to the Russians with the “Non-Aggression Pact” and Poland in WW2.

    – MJM

  • http://tobakkonacht.com/ Michael J. McFadden

    Note this: “the proposed Pennsylvania smoking ban won’t prohibit you from smoking in your home. At least not yet.” Not yet. Unless maybe you’re not wealthy enough to own a detached single family home with no one under 21 or over 65 or with a female of child-bearing age in residence.

    Remember the TV monitors in Orwell’s “1984”? Watch the smoke monitors (very different than simple “smoke detectors” which are almost never triggered by people smoking) start being emplaced.

    – MJM

  • sovalks

    Don’t sell cigarettes at all if we can’t smoke them in 9 out of 10 spaces! Oh what? That’s not in your profit margin?!

    • John Davidson

      Smoke easys are already in Philly and theres likely plenty of bootleg cheap smokes too! Prohibition aint it grand………..It worked so well!

  • Stein

    Alcohol is bad for you, so alcohol should be banned in all of Pennsylvania as well.

    • Debbie

      Yeah right. They won’t pick on alcohol because they know there would be a total war over it besides they can’t ban all their moneymakers. When I was young, banning something was the last resort and people would scream and shout about making their own decisions, now they throw it around willy nilly and against legal products that they receive tax dollars on, so the government gets some of the revenue and the rest goes to the underground economy/black market plus the pharmaceutical industry gets a portion too. Happy, happy, except for the tobacco users who are overtaxed and banned everywhere almost, taxation without representation.

  • Stuart

    This may be one of the only ways to bring business back to Atlantic City casinos!

    • ScottEwing

      Because the smoke free casino was losing money? You need to be clearer in your posting.

  • John Davidson

    Now what a freedom loving legislator should do is put in a bill to REPEAL THE WHOLE INDOOR BAN! It was all based on a lie second hand smoke………………

    • Pickee

      You are not a doctor so your opinion on secondhand smoke is equivalent to that of a 2 year old.

  • John Davidson

    Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition


    This sorta says it all

    These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

    So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ”SAFE LEVELS”


    All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes.

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

    Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA.

    Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!

  • CyZane

    ”As for “residential facility,” don’t worry, the proposed Pennsylvania smoking ban won’t prohibit you from smoking in your home. (…) This term covers places like adult care facilities.”

    Don’t worry? These residential ”facilities” are the residents’ home and some of them smoke, so it’s all honky dory to throw them out in the street to smoke in all weather? Or are they perhaps planning to constrain them or stick a patch up their arm or a pill down their throat which is precisely what the whole Big Pharma marketing plan behind smoking bans is all about. http://tctactics.org/index.php/Money

    • Debbie

      It started out with very simple rules, smoking and non smoking sections and the anti smokers always said that’s all we want, now they are on the precipice of going into our homes and telling us what to do. Liars.

      • John Davidson

        Its not just Republicans

        Colleges being forced to go smokefree by Obama Administration

        The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

        Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.


        Obama administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses

        Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/11/obama … z29zJ2V2TV

        President Barack Obama has already promised not to smoke cigarettes in the White House. If his administration has its way, American college students will soon be required to follow suit while they’re on campus.

        Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will announce a national initiative Wednesday at the University of Michigan School of Public Health to stamp out tobacco use on college campuses.

    • CyZane
  • Michael Greenwald

    Good. And there is no point in having a Republican Party! Their worthlessness is well established by now.

  • ScottEwing

    No intelligent person believes this secondhand smoke nonsense anymore. That only leaves shills and the incredibly gullible. http://members.iinet.com.au/~ray/TSSOASb.html

    • Pickee

      I was just talking to a woman who never smoked a day in her life but is now dying of lung cancer several years after her lifetime smoking husband did.

      • ScottEwing


  • Debbie

    There is one thing I will say. Since the 60’s me and others have been hearing these lies about smoking and the myths surrounding secondhand smoke and we are getting pretty sick of it. You have done your duty, you have warned us, now step back and get out of our business, we are adults and we can make our own decisions without your meddling. As for the children, with you talking about it all the time, it’s a wonder that all children are not trying it just to see what it’s all about and children shouldn’t be allowed in bars at any time. It is illegal for them to drink until they are 18, 19 or 21 in some cases so what are they doing in bars to begin with??? As for private bars who do you think you are?? They own the bar and if people dislike the smoke they don’t have to go there. Ignorant and babies that they have to cry to the government and bully others. As for the stop smoking aids, suicide drugs and nicotine going straight into your bloodstream as in the patches and they don’t work. Mind your own business for a change, bullies. Then when something comes along like the e-cigarettes which have been known to work, you want it banned, why??

    • Pickee

      Perhaps you don’t remember what a terrible experience it is to be around someone smoking. Maybe you are too busy littering our highways which are just filled with cigarette butts.

    • concerned

      Secondhand smoke damage is not a myth, time to get educated about that!

  • Tom

    I hope this helps to create a world where smoking isn’t tolerated. I smoked for 10 years and it was dumb. Such a waste of life. We should progress as a society and not repeat or mistakes. Laws like these will help.

    • Parmenion59

      …Or you could always move to North Korea.

      • Condensate

        Maybe you should move to NK. I think they allow you to smoke anywhere.

  • Parmenion59

    This smoking ban may make for a more pleasant dining experience or getting drunk in the club experience. But that is all irrelevant.

    The bottom line is this… WHO IS ANYONE, OR ANY GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO HAVE THE AUDACITY TO TELL ME OR ANYONE WHAT THEY CAN DO IN THEIR OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY WHEN IT DOES NOT AFFECT ANYONE WHO DOES NOT CHOOSE TO GO THERE? You do not have a right to a smoke free bar. You do not have a right to a smoke free McDonald’s. If you want it build it. If there is a demand for it then it will come which is how the free market works.

    This is not the end. This is not the beginning either. It is another stop in the ongoing campaign to turn the entire country into a nanny state. It is not right. It is not fair. It is more government intrusion into our private lives and into private enterprise. It is an attack on civil liberties and people are too blind to see it.

    WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE? Are Happy Meals being banned next? Perhaps no salt? No drinks over 16 ounces? Last I checked heart disease IS the number one killer so why would it be far fetched to go there? When will this government control reach the home? When is the government going to tell me I can’t fry my potatoes in a certain oil in my own kitchen because it’s unhealthy?

    Government is rarely a solution to any problem. Look at the war on drugs. We incarcerate and turn people into animals for abusing themselves with drugs as if that punishment will deter someone who is addicted. We create a black market so large that there is a war for control of the drug trade along the US-Mexican border that has killed more people in the last year than have died in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

    Yes, the people will adjust all right. But this smoking ban is NOT a good thing

  • Richard Paulos

    I am a casino worker and am sick of having sinus issues and coming home stinking like a dirty ashtray. Why should I inhale this? Where are my rights? You may counter and say find a job outside the casino. I say yeah good luck with that. Been trying for months!

  • Diane Kramer

    I don’t get it. It is ok to drink alcohol which harms more people than second hand smoke, which by the way has never been proven, but telling us it will be against the law to smoke even if the establishment says it is ok. How in the world can they say a person cannot even smoke outdoors, on a deck or patio! As far as I am concerned alcohol should be banned too, not that I would like that. This whole Government is trying to control us and we need to TAKE ACTION to save this so called FREE COUNTRY!

    • Pickee

      Thank you for your opinion Dr. Kramer. I am glad to learn there are no adverse effects related to secondhand smoke.

  • Richard Michael Lucas

    Newsflash: a bar is for DRINKING. Their business centers on buying alcohol and re-selling it to consumers. NOT SMOKING.

    • Cville

      Bars are for drinking and smoking. Or why even go. It’s called night life, who wants all those rules.

  • Concerned

    Saying it is your right to smoke is like saying it is your right to drink & drive! They both are harmful to other people! Noboddy has that right!