Frankel, Costa call for Clean Indoor Air Act extension

Legislation would extend protections to additional public spaces, include e-cigarettes

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 12 – Today, state Rep. Dan Frankel, Democratic chair of the Health Committee, and state Sen. Jay Costa, along with other elected officials, called on the Pennsylvania legislature to extend the landmark PA Clean Indoor Air Act to include additional public spaces and modernize it for today’s rapidly changing society.

“Our current law says it’s ok if some people are at risk of getting sick. Well, that’s not ok with me,” Frankel said. “In the 11 years since we banned smoking in most workplaces, it has become even more clear that exposure to second-hand smoke is a health risk that nobody should be asked to take.”

“There is an assumption that this issue has already been addressed and that the Clean Indoor Air Act solved the problems related to second-hand smoke. Unfortunately, it did not,” Costa said. “Further, we need to address additional challenges posed by the recent boom in e-cigarette and vaping popularity.

Frankel’s legislation – H.B. 2298 – would close the loopholes found in the Clean Indoor Air Act, including those that allow smoking in outdoor spaces, cigar bars, cigar lounges, casinos, private clubs and drinking establishments. The bill would also address the increase in vaping-related illnesses by including the use of e-cigarettes within the definition of smoking, while also allowing local governments to enact smoke-free ordinances that are more protective than current state law.

Earlier this week, Frankel and other legislators applauded a move by state Attorney General Josh Shaprio to hold e-cigarette manufacturer Juul accountable for preying on young people.

The lawsuit seeks to take JUUL devices out of production altogether, or to impose restrictions on the way the JUUL product is designed, marketed, and sold, and to require the company to pay for youth-oriented prevention programs, public health research, and nicotine cessation programs to help abate the harms they’ve already caused.