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Health Advocacy Group Pushes For Smokeless Pennsylvania Casinos

Breathe Free Pennsylvania Coalition Backs Legislation That Would Ban Smoking Inside Casinos

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A group whose goal is to bring cleaner air to the people of Pennsylvania are pushing for lawmakers in the state to permanently ban smoking in casinos.

The Breathe Free Pennsylvania Coalition, which is comprised of the American Lung Association, The American Heart Association and the American Cancer Association, and other health advocacy groups, backed legislation that would ban the practice.

HB 2298, which was introduced by Rep. Dan Frankel, would amend the Clean Indoor Air Act of Pennsylvania. It would help to close loopholes that allow establishments like casinos and bars to have discretion over whether they allow smoking indoors.

When casinos reopened in the wake of COVID-19, regulators forced operators to do so without allowing smoking inside. The coalition wants that to remain permanent, even after the pandemic is over.

According to a local Fox affiliate, casino workers showed up to the Breath Free Coalition’s virtual meeting to express similar sentiment and that the workplace environment has improved since the ban was implemented.

“We’re all so happy to be here,” said the worker. “I’ve had people blow smoke in my face while I’m writing up a jackpot. I don’t think we should have to suffer for what other people choose to do with their lives.”

There is some legal precedent for upholding the ban. In 1967, there was an amendment to the state constitution that guaranteed the right to clean air.