Comprehensive Clean Indoor Air Legislation

PACT Recommendation: Remove exemptions from CIAA, extending full protection from the effects of secondhand smoke to all Pennsylvania workers. Remove preemption from CIAA, enabling any locality adopt and enforce indoor air regulations that set higher standards than the existing state law.

In Pennsylvania, over 2,300 venues are exempt from the Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA), leaving many hospitality workers exposed to harmful carcinogens. Only by enacting a comprehensive law can we give all workers the protection they deserve. Current exemptions to the law include:

  • Bars with 20% or less revenue from food
  • Casinos (up to 50% of the gaming floor)
  • Hotel/Motels (up to 25% of rooms)
  • Private clubs and private residences
  • Tobacco Shops
  • Cigar Bars
  • Truck stops with shower facilities
  • Outdoor sports, recreational facility, theater or performance establishment
  • Tobacco manufacturer cigar exhibitions
  • Non-profit fundraisers that feature tobacco products

Smoke-Free Laws Do Not Hurt Businesses

A study of air quality in the state’s hospitality industry before and after CIAA in locations across the state found that indoor air pollution levels in newly smoke-free venues declined by nearly 90 percent. ALA estimates that smoke-free air across all venues would save 52 hospitality workers’ lives annually.[ii] Last year, identical bills were introduced in each chamber to remove exemptions from the current CIAA. Both bills also propose adding electronic cigarettes to the current law. The House bill had a hearing in the Health Committee, but was weakened after a vote in the same committee and subsequently stalled.

Local Governments are Prevented from Strengthening Their Own Laws Clean Indoor Air:

The current law also preempts all local governments except Philadelphia from adopting or enforcing their own, more restrictive indoor air regulations.[iii] Last year, bills were introduced in both chambers to repeal provisions related to preemption of local action. Both bills were sent to committee; neither was heard or released from committee. Such legislation would be welcomed by localities including Allegheny County, Allentown, Harrisburg, Erie, and Pittsburgh, which have enacted currently unenforceable regulations in the past.

Foot Notes

[i] Tauras J.A., et al. Economic Impact of a Noncomprehensive Smoke-Free Air Law. Health Promot Pract. 12 (2014): 521-529.[ii] Pennsylvania Department of Health. Chapter 7 of Act 77. Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation. State Fiscal Year July 1,2008-June 30, 2009 Annual Report.

[iii] Tauras J.A., et al. Economic Impact of a Noncomprehensive Smoke-Free Air Law. Health Promot Pract. 12 (2014): 521-529.