Recent study finds 52 lives in the hospitality industry are saved each year
HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 10 – Pennsylvania’s Clean
Indoor Air Act has significantly increased the number of businesses where
customers and employees enjoy a healthy, smoke-free environment, Secretary of
Health Everette James said today.
The law took effect Sept. 11, 2008, and prohibits smoking in most public
places, including restaurants, workplaces and a portion of casino floors.
“Secondhand smoke has a deadly impact on workers and costs our healthcare
system billions of dollars,” said Secretary James. “This law protects the
health of millions of Pennsylvanians from the well-documented dangers of
Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 60
known to cause cancer. In a 2006 report, the U.S. Surgeon General said it is
indisputable that secondhand smoke causes premature death and serious diseases
in nonsmoking adults and children.
The 144,000 workers in Pennsylvania’s hospitality industry are now breathing
cleaner air at work. A recent study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Alliance
to Control Tobacco found air pollution in Pennsylvania’s bars, restaurants,
bingo halls and bowling alleys dropped by an average of 87 percent. Air
quality was evaluated before and after the law took effect in a random
sampling of businesses statewide. That study estimated that smoke-free air
will save 52 hospitality workers’ lives annually.
“We have spent the past year educating businesses about the law and what it
means for them. We are happy the vast majority of those businesses are smoke
free,” said Secretary James. “All Pennsylvania citizens deserve to work in a
Diseases resulting from tobacco cost Pennsylvania $5.2 billion annually in
healthcare costs, according to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. By
shielding workers and customers from secondhand smoke, the law is expected to
save Pennsylvania taxpayers millions of dollars in health care costs.
Since the law took effect, the Department of Health has issued eight
citations, or orders to show cause, to facilities accused of violating the
smoking ban. The department enforces the ban in businesses and organizations
that do not have a liquor license, such as bingo halls and pool halls.
The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, which has authority over
establishments with liquor licenses, has issued 249 citations and 288
For more information about Clean Indoor Air, visit www.health.state.pa.us. For
resources to help you quit smoking, visit that Web site or call 1-800-QUIT NOW
CONTACT: Stacy Kriedeman
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
CONTACT: Stacy Kriedeman, +1-717-787-1783