Facebook et al. has been buzzing with the "drastic" Pennsylvania smoking ban making its way through the state as Senate Bill 80 and House Bill 1485.
While the ban extends to casinos and private clubs like SugarHouse and Voyeur, additional restrictions include bars and outdoor patios. However, the state's and city's previous smoking restrictions were not synonymous. When both banned smoking in most public places a few years ago, Philadelphia went a little further than the state. Technically, despite a handful of exemptions, most of Philadelphia's bars and outdoor patios that allow smoking are technically breaking the law.
Following the initial ban, the city hired about twenty five agents to randomly visit establishments, particularly dive bars, and issue fines. The agents were laid off or reassigned due to budget cuts, and due to the fact that most businesses were adhering to the law.
Fear not, smokers, much of this bill just brings the state up to the same standards Philadelphia has been held to for years. Businesses that already scoff at the law probably won't stop. If known "smoke easies" like Locust Bar and McGlichey's put an end to smoking, demand will find another place.
Even if the unthinkable happens, e-cig vapor shops are popping up around town offering a safer alternative to carcinogenic cigarettes. Vape up.