FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Mike Sturla
State Rep. Dan Frankel
House Democratic Policy Committee examines impact of Clean Indoor Air Act
PITTSBURGH, July 26 – The House Democratic Policy Committee explored the impact Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act has had on the overall health of residents and businesses since its enactment in 2008 at a public hearing at the University of Pittsburgh today, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, requested the hearing and served as co-chair. Frankel has introduced a bill (H.B. 2561) to amend the Clean Indoor Air Act to eliminate the language that prohibits local governments from enacting and enforcing their own stronger smoking bans.
"Since being enacted in 2008 Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act has had a variety of effects on businesses, employees and the residents’ health," Sturla said. "It is important to evaluate what those impacts have been in order to determine if the law is meeting its original intent."
Frankel said, "The Clean Indoor Air Act of 2008 was a landmark achievement for public health. However, like many laws, it was a compromise and has room for improvement," Frankel said. "In exchange for a statewide law protecting employees in most workplaces from secondhand smoke, every local government except for Philadelphia lost the ability to enforce stronger laws to protect their citizens’ health in other public places."
Those testifying at the hearing included: Cindy Thomas, executive director, Tobacco Free Allegheny; Deb Brown, CEO, American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic; Robert Sayre, chef and former employee of an exempt business; Kevin Joyce, owner, The Carlton Restaurant; Diane Phillips, senior director of state and federal government relations, American Cancer Society; and Deborah Moss, MD, MPH, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
For additional information about the Policy Committee and for hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.