Up in smoke: Smoking ban goes into effect

September 11, 2008 8:00:27 AM PDT
Pennsylvania now joins 32 other states with laws on the books forbidding smoking in public places. "I won't be coming to the bars as much as I used to," John, a smoker, said.

"It'll be nice, people will be able to enjoy it without the smell of smoke," Kathy Murphy said.

It seems everyone has an opinion, but it's not just smokers against non-smokers.

"I support it. That's the way things are. It's not fair to people who don't smoke and they come into dinner, smoke blowing in their face, it's not fair to them," Joe Tag said.

"Anytime you start allowing other citizen take away your constitutional rights, you go down a slippery slope; next,it'll be red meat then it'll be any kind of meat," non-smoker Mike Murray said.

Owner of the Oakmont National Pub in Havertown, Brendan Goggin, believes the new law will literally bring a breath of fresh air to his business.

"Instead of last call we're going to be giving the last curtain call for smoking tonight," Goggin said.

The new law does have its detractors. Some say it doesn't go far enough.

Smoking is banned in hospitals, schools, and restaurants, but portions of hotels and casinos and bars where food accounts for no than 20-percent of sales are exempt.

At restaurants like the Oakmont, customers are free to light up on outdoor patios.

Compliance officers will not be going out and monitoring public places, but rather health officials are counting on the public to report non-compliance.

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