Pennsylvania Nurse 2019 Pennsylvania Nurse 74.1 - Page 5

Happenings on the Hill Despite decades of decline, cigarette smoking continues to be the second leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Ac- cording to the American Heart Association, approximately 480,000 lives are lost each year due to smoking-related issues. One of the most effective ways to prevent cigarette smoke from harm- ing citizens of the Commonwealth is to create smoke-free environments. Ten years ago, Pennsylvania passed the Clean Indoor Air Act, prohibiting smoking in a public place or workspace. However, the Act listed exemp- tions, including casinos, social clubs, and bars. This is harmful to both nonsmoking guests and employees of these establishments. In 2019, Representative Fred Keller (Snyder and Union counties), with the support of the American Heart Association, introduced House Bill 436. This bill aims to close the loopholes regarding the exemptions. However, Rep. Keller has been tapped to be the Republican nominee for PA’s 12th Congressional District. Therefore, the American Heart Association is seeking a new prime sponsor for the bill. PSNA will continue to support the newest version of the Clean Indoor Air Act. A 2017 poll by Public Opinion Strategies revealed that 69% of Pennsylvania voters supported a law that would prohibit smoking in all workplaces, including members-based venues, bars, and casinos. In fact, the VFW’s Department of Pennsylvania is working to eliminate smoking from its member organizations to pro- tect members, employees, and their families from preventable health risks. As noted, PSNA, along with Breathe Free PA and the American Heart Association, will continue to support the new Clean Indoor Air legislation. PSNA members will receive advocacy alerts when the new bill is sched- uled for a vote. Additional information can be found at Legislative Day 2019 Issue 74, 1 2019 Pennsylvania Nurse 3