Pennsylvania Smoking/Tobacco Policy

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PennsylvaniaSmoking/Tobacco Policy

Smokinghas many adverse health effects as evidenced by research. As aresult, there is a need to protect the public from the consequencesof secondary smoking where the primary smoker exposes others. Due tothis, various laws about smoking have been put in place. This essaydiscusses the Pennsylvania state smoking/tobacco policy.

ThePennsylvania law prohibits smoking in public places, includingworking areas, public reaction facilities, schools, public buses andall other public facilities. However, the law permits tobacco smokingin private bars, clubs, casinos and some restaurants. There arevarious designed areas for smoking labelled “smoking zone”.Smokers are expected to smoke in these designated areas only. Thelaw also exempts a workplace that deals with tobacco.Many other places can be licensed provided they follow the properprocedures. Tobacco use is illegal in school facilities.Nevertheless, school boards have the power to designate certain areaswhere people other than pupils can smoke. Such smoking zones should,however, be more than 50 feet from the buildings housing students.

Smokingin Pennsylvania state campuses is permitted in designated areas orpersonal vehicles. The campus security enforces this law. In my view,smoking should be prohibited in all universities. Allowing people tosmoke in campuses sets a bad example to the curious youths. They mayventure into smoking after witnessing people smoke in their cars orthe designated places. Prohibition of smoking from campuses woulddiscourage tobacco use among the students as well as protect themfrom the second-hand smoke. In summary, smoking prevention andcontrol is necessary for all states and campuses. Laws should protectnon-smokers from the consequences of smoking. Such laws should alsoaim at helping the smokers to quit by rehabilitation. As a result,the tobacco-related health burden would be considerably reduced.