November 15, 2023 2 min read


Pennsylvanian House Health Committee to Vote on Smoking Ban

The Committee will convene in Harrisburg today to vote on the bill

Pennsylvania’s House Health Committee is set to vote on a measure that would ban smoking at the state’s 17 casinos. Under House Bill 1657, known as the Protecting Workers from Secondhand Smoke Act, all kinds of smoking, including electronic cigarettes, would be banned from casinos, bars and private clubs in Pennsylvania.

The bill seeks to patch a loophole in the Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act that exempts casinos, private clubs, bars and tobacco shops from the indoor smoking ban. Introduced in 2008, the original law allows casinos to designate up to half of their gaming area as a smoker’s area.

However, the original law doesn’t sit well with all casino workers as many claim that the exemption exposes them to secondhand smoke and endangers their health.

Under House Bill 1675, the smoking exemption for casinos, bars and clubs would be eliminated. However, tobacco shops would still be allowed to offer indoor smoking.

Frankel Is Optimistic about the Measure

The bill is promoted by Rep. Dan Frankel, chair of the House Health Committee. The committee will convene in Harrisburg today to vote on the bill but Frankel is fairly confident that the body will pass the measure.

Earlier this month, Frankel said that it is high time to create legislation that doesn’t jeopardize the health of club and casino workers, forcing them to “choose between their paycheck and their health.”

Fifteen years ago, this commonwealth took an enormous step forward in ensuring that our workers are not forced to breathe in toxic smoke — it’s time to finish the job.

Rep. Dan Frankel

Echoing the discussion in New Jersey, Pennsylvanian casinos have expressed their concerns about the measure, claiming that it can hurt their revenues. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, gambling properties remain convinced that smoking bans would alienate casino goers.

However, proponents of the ban in Pennsylvania have pointed out that Parx’s Bensalem casino prohibits smoking and still generates more revenue than its local competitors. In addition, the prohibition the Bensalem and Shippensburg casinos have adopted has significantly bolstered employee morale.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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