Pennsylvania Smoking: What you need to know

The Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act (PA Stat. Tit. 35 Sec. 637.1et seq.) prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces, commercial establishments including restaurants, and in most public places.

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"Public places" are defined as places where the public is invited or permitted, including public transportation vehicles and terminals and vehicles for hire. Also included in the ban are all places of employment, business, trade, crafts, sports, entertainment, recreation, education, and professional or volunteer activity.

Exemptions. Exempted from the smoking prohibitions are:

  • Private homes and vehicles except when used for child care or adult day care
  • Bars with 80 percent or more of sales from liquor
  • Bars in restaurants with separating walls, separate entrances, and their own ventilation systems
  • Up to 25 percent of rooms in lodging establishments and full-service truck stops
  • Tobacco-related businesses (manufacturers, wholesalers, tobacco shops, and cigar bars)
  • Private clubs with paid memberships, elected officers, and regular meetings
  • Facilities of volunteer fire companies, ambulance services, and rescue squads
  • Designated areas of casino gaming floors
  • Designated outdoor areas at sporting and recreational events

Employers and building owners may declare entire facilities, including outdoor areas, as smoke-free.

Signage. Nonsmoking and smoking-permitted areas must be identified at entrances with conspicuous signs.

Enforcement. The state Department of Health and local departments of health are charged with enforcement of the law. The Bureau of Liquor Enforcement will make random compliance checks and take complaints about smoking in businesses with liquor licenses. The Pennsylvania State Police may also enforce the law and ...

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