Proposed bill would ban smoking everywhere indoors

State lawmakers are considering expanding the Clean Indoor Act, House Bill 1309, to include 100 percent of public establishments - including bars, restaurants, casinos and clubs to be smoke free.

Bob McCarthy, commander of the American Legion Post 773, says, "I don't believe they should be sticking their nose in the private business. Public, I understand, but this is a private club. They have no say in - well they have a lot of say in what we do - but I don't think they should enforce non-smoking. "

The current state law that was passed in 2008 allows exemptions for alcohol-serving establishments that make less than 20 percent of their revenue from food sales, as well as casino floors and private clubs and bars.

The general manager at That Place on 26th Street says there's no way of knowing if banning smoking inside would affect business, but she says they don't want to find out.

Shanea Rogers says, "We feel as if there should be no further government regulation. This is a bar and people come here to relax and chill out and just get away from all life's challenges. This is like a getaway. If they choose to smoke, that is their personal choice and we make our money off of it. We pay taxes from it and our sales come from it. They should just leave it alone."

However health officials say tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death across the country.

Sarah Morgan, Erie County Health Department, says, "When people are breathing in second hand smoke, they're getting the same harmful chemicals that people are getting when they're smoking. Because of that, we don't want smoking in public places."

The bill is in the health committee and has not been voted on.


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