New Poll: Pennsylvania Voters Support Closing Loopholes in Clean Indoor Air Act

By More Than Two‐to‐One, Pennsylvania Voters Favor Passing a Comprehensive Smoke‐Free Law

September 26, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – September 26, 2017 – A new poll released today by the Breathe Free Pennsylvania Coalition shows Pennsylvanian voters overwhelmingly support closing loopholes in the current Clean Indoor Air Act. 

Five leading health organizations are calling on lawmakers to protect all Pennsylvania workers from being exposed to secondhand smoke by closing all loopholes in the current law by making all casinos, private clubs, bars and restaurants smoke-free. “In Pennsylvania, tobacco will claim an estimated 22,000 lives this year alone,” said Brad Cary, coalition manager, Breathe Free Pennsylvania Coalition. “We know that comprehensive smoke-free laws save lives and reduce tobacco-related illnesses like heart disease and cancer.”

The poll surveyed 600 likely Pennsylvania voters. It was released by the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association in Pennsylvania, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights and was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. The poll shows:

By more than two‐to‐one, Pennsylvania voters favor passing a smoke‐free law that would prohibit smoking inside all workplaces including restaurants, bars, and casinos.
o    Sixty-nine percent of voters favor a comprehensive smoke‐free law, while 30 percent oppose it.
o    Voters across party lines favor the proposed law, including 65 percent of Republicans, 67 percent of Independents and 72 percent of Democrats.

Keystone State voters also favor including electronic cigarettes in a smoke‐free law, again at a clip of more than two‐to‐one.
o    Sixty-four percent of voters favor including e‐cigarettes in a smoke‐free law, while 31 percent are opposed.
o    This is a non‐partisan issue: 63 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of Independents and 64 percent of Democrats favor including e-cigarettes in the smoke-free law.

A proposal to give local communities the option to pass smoke‐free laws that are even stronger than the statewide law is supported by nearly two‐thirds of voters.
o    Nearly two‐thirds (64 percent) of voters favor giving local Pennsylvania communities such an option, while 34 percent are opposed.
o    Support crosses partisan lines, with 58 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Democrats in favor.

The coalition was also joined by Dwight R. Fuhrman, state commander of the Pennsylvania VFW and Terry Stokes, quartermaster for the Red Lion chapter of the VFW, who shared why the Pennsylvania VFW has chosen to support smoke-free. 

“It is time for the State to end the smoking exemption for all facilities licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), including all private clubs. The Pennsylvania VFW wants to improve the health of all veterans, their loved ones and employees inside our clubs,” said Fuhrman. “Removing this exemption for all PLCB license holders will create an even playing field so there won’t be a competitive disadvantage for those clubs that become non-smoking operations.”   

The poll was conducted from September 9-12, 2017 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percent. 


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Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Specialist, Division Media Advocacy