Monday, September 8, 2008

Smoking Ban Arrives Thursday

Under a state law effective Thursday, smoking is banned in enclosed workplaces and commercial establishments and in areas where the public is invited or permitted. Among areas where smoking will be permitted: (Trib, Fabregas & Wereschagin)

Selected exceptions to the ban:

• Bars where food accounts for 20 percent or less of annual sales

How can anyone tell?

• Up to 25 percent of a casino floor

Well, naturally. Ca-ching, ca-ching!

• Private clubs

Now, with even more allure!

• Cigar bars

• Tobacco shops; manufacturers, importers or wholesalers of tobacco products; manufacturers of tobacco-related products such as lighters

Get ready for a meteoric rise in cigar culture, especially considering the local mystique.

• Designated outdoor smoking areas at sports or recreational facilities, theaters or performance establishments

Okay, so this is not the Revolution, nor is it prohibition. It's regulation and accommodation.

Sniffing out violators of Pennsylvania's smoking ban will fall on the shoulders of people bothered by the smoke. (Trib, Luis Fabregas)

Um, really?

The state is encouraging people who see smoking ban violations to call an automated help line, 877-835-9535, and leave a message describing the violation and where and when it occurred.

A warning letter and educational materials will be sent to the violator. If complaints continue, the state could issue a $250 fine, which increases to $1,000 for repeated violations.

Boy, when the tobacco lobby and the restaurant lobby want to water something down, they really water something down, huh?


  1. Here in Chicago, after nine months, there have been no customer complaints from most bars that ignore the ban.

  2. If we bad a bar ban in Pittsburgh/Allegheny county I would report the bars and clubs that broke it.

  3. What no smoking response line, like 511 or something? No arming of the citizenry with squirt guns? Now that would be cool.

  4. Why not allow adults to make adult decisions in establishments owned by adults? Let people decide if they want to eat or drink where smoking is allowed. If the market demands that smoking is less profitable than non-smoking, then restaurant owners will get the picture. Government fiat and bully tactics are regrettable.

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