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Measure to Protect Pennsylvanians from Dangers of Secondhand Smoke Supported by Leading Health Organizations

Joint statement from ACS CAN, American Lung Association and American Heart Association

February 12, 2020

HARRISBURG, Pa.—Legislation has now been introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature (HB2298) that if passed and enacted, will close loopholes in the current Clean Indoor Air Act and help ensure Pennsylvanians are not risking their lives and health by merely going to work.


The existing Clean Indoor Air Act was enacted in 2008 and has already protected Pennsylvanians who work in specific settings—but there are many other Pennsylvanians who are not currently protected because of the loopholes in the law. Among those that would now be protected in the new legislation are casino employees and those who work in private clubs. E-cigarettes are also included in the new legislation.


“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association want to thank Rep. Dan Frankel for his support and leadership with this legislation. If enacted, the measure would provide a pivotal step forward in protecting those in our state from the dangers of secondhand smoke. We look forward to working with him and the state legislature to protect all Pennsylvanians.” 


The groups issued the following individual statements:
• Emma Watson, Pennsylvania Government Relations Director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said, “Enacting this legislation is extremely important as secondhand smoke causes the same diseases and premature death as active smoking. Right now, there are Pennsylvanians putting their lives and health on the line just to earn a living. No one should have to choose between their health and their paycheck.”
• Sarah Lawver, Pennsylvania Director of Advocacy of the American Lung Association said, “As a state, we have been lagging behind on this issue. Closing the loopholes in the current clean indoor act is essential in protecting the health of Pennsylvanians and their right to breathe healthier, smoke-free air. Opportunities for better health begin where people work, live and play. No one should have to be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke just to do their job.”
• Brad Cary, Pennsylvania Government Relations Director of the American Heart Association said, “It is no secret that Pennsylvania’s current clean indoor air law is grossly outdated and creates an unlevel playing field with certain businesses that still permit smoking. This legislation would remove those exemptions from the law, including those that allow smoking in casinos and bars.”


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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.
 
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  
 
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
 

 

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