Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

TheGerbil

Smoking ban shot down at state level

14 posts in this topic

The state Commonwealth Court ruled that the county does not have the authority to enact such a ban. This bothers me for several reasons.

1. The state doesn't show signs of passing a state-wide ban anytime soon.

2. I feel like somehow this is going to make Allegheny County look bad, even though it was the state that shot it down.

3. The county can appeal, but it could take a long time for a decision to come through.

4. I wanted this ban to go through, and now it's at the very least being delayed.

5. Philadelphia has a smoking ban. So by what logic are they allowed to but we aren't?

The good news in this situation is that many restaurants and institutions are enacting (or keeping) no-smoking policies anyway. UPMC is still going forward with it's ban, which goes above and beyond what the county was calling for. Several Eat 'n Parks are non-smoking now, and they are getting good feedback. Last time I went to Sharp Edge (last weekend) they were 100% smoke free and the place was packed. Let's hope they decide to stay that way.

I plan on emailing Dan Onorato and my member of County Council to urge them to appeal this decision. Considering 20 states and many cities have smoking bans, it's high time we did the same.

More info here: http://post-gazette.com/pg/07143/788180-114.stm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Very disappointing.

The law may have been poorly written and ambiguous... which could be a reason for throwing it out.

And/or... perhaps counties in PA do not have the authority to enact such a band. This might be one of those powers that is reserved for municipalities. Philadelphia has a ban... but that's long been a special city in PA politics... it is a consolidated city-county and has the power to enact a commuter tax, for example.

The city of Scranton also has a ban, and it has not been challenged yet. This leads me to believe that perhaps municipalities have the authority.

I doubt Pennsylvania will get a statewide ban for a long time... our state government is corrupt and inept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. The ruling does not appear to affect Philadelphia as the Clean Indoor Act specifies something to the extent of all municipalities outside of Philadelphia. It does, however, appear to affect Scranton, which recently implemented their smoking ban and have been enforcing it. It's not a county or city/municipality thing. It's simply Philadelphia or the rest of the state. Erie also passed a ban, but it was struck down in the lower court for pretty much the same reason.

With many other states having passed bans, I believe Pennsylvania will as well, especially with Allegheny County, Philadelphia, Scranton, and Erie supporting it. The real question is when.

I agree the county should appeal to the state Supreme Court. If nothing else, it will raise awareness and urge the state legislature to pass a ban. Maybe those of us who support the ban should all sign the letter to the county?

I'm worried that some of the places that voluntarily went smoke-free in anticipation the ban will eventually take effect will now allow smoking again. An example of 1 possibility would be PNC Park and the restaurants in it.

Maaz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty tired of Philly getting special treatment. It's totally unfair to the rest of the state.

I wonder if the city of Pittsburgh would consider it's own, city-wide ban.... But I think that would scare restaurant owners even more than the county-wide ban.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm pretty tired of Philly getting special treatment. It's totally unfair to the rest of the state.

I wonder if the city of Pittsburgh would consider it's own, city-wide ban.... But I think that would scare restaurant owners even more than the county-wide ban.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now here is an interesting tidbit. The piece of legislation cited by the judges who overturned the smoking ban is the state Clean Indoor Air Act of 1988. The particular phrase in question says that this act "shall pre-empt and supersede any local ordinance or rule."

Now, legally I can see where the judges are coming from. But I feel like they are following the letter of the law, not the spirit of the law. It seems to me that that sentence was meant to stop local governments from passing less strict clean air acts. I really doubt that it's intention was to stop us passing stricter laws. Because the whole idea of the Clean Air Act is to keep air clean, right? Maybe I'm wrong, I haven't read the rest of the document. But that is my suspicion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to see this happen you need to write your representatives, as boring as that sounds complaining on here will not help at all you need to write them and voice your displeasure with the State. Check the link below it will tell you who your representatives are.

Just put a quick letter together email it to them and tell all of your friends to email their reps as well. They need to hear the voice of constituent displeasure.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing some emailing already on this matter, and I intend to keep it up until I can't think of anyone else to email ;)

Two county council members did write back to me saying they intend to keep up the fight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Here's a nice article about some of the local bars and restaurants that are going smoke-free despite the ban being shot down. http://post-gazette.com/pg/07151/790208-34.stm

I am very pleased to see a number of establishments, including Eat n' Park, Sharp Edge and Crazy Mocha, stepping up. Bravo! :good:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yay! ... i'm happy to see Crazy Mocha enact this policy... the Bloomfield location was always filled with smoke

bloomfield_goat.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While we wait for the state to do something, Allegheny county is trying to do what it can about this issue. County Council is considering a reward for establishments that ban smoking, in the form of a decal they can display. It isn't much, but at least it's something. http://post-gazette.com/pg/07171/795502-85.stm

I'm glad to see that the county is still doing what little it can to promote no-smoking policies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797434-85.stm

Well it looks likely that a state-wide ban will be passed, thank goodness. So far there are a lot of loopholes, but for the most part I am satisfied with it. Besides, any state-wide ban is a good start; it could always be made stricter later on. Let's hope this gets done quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow... from the way KDKA described the situation last night... I was assuming this bill would be defeated (largely by those who support a ban, but not the weakened loophole-laden version)

Anyways... while I hate to see these loopholes... "you can't always get what you want"... and this is a good first step.... hopefully a judge doesn't throw it out. lol

BTW, that "nanny state" argument is so lame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, the "nanny state" argument is lame and I'm tired of hearing it. This isn't about telling smokers what to do. It's about protecting the health of those who choose not to smoke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.