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PA Legislature Passes Long-Awaited Smoking Bill Ban

on June 11, 2008 8:39 AM
Governor Ed Rendell says he plans to sign a bill that would make Pennsylvania the 33rd state to outlaw smoking in many workplaces and public spaces.

The state Senate broke a yearlong stalemate Tuesday and approved the compromise bill. Supporters hailed it as a step forward for public health and protecting people from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Rendell has advocated a smoking ban as a way to reduce health care costs.

Opponents have derided the bill as big government playing havoc with small business owners. They say it could hurt neighborhood taverns and eateries where people stay for hours, smoking.

The ban would take effect 90 days after being signed into law. It would ban cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking in restaurants, office buildings, schools, sports arenas, theaters and bus and train stations.

A dozen exemptions will ensure that smoking can continue at numerous bars and taverns, portions of casino floors, private clubs and elsewhere.

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