Philly Council approves legislation to end smoking-ban waivers

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Philadelphia City Council has moved a bill out of committee to close a loophole in the ban on indoor smoking. 

Some private clubs and other establishments have asked for, and received, waivers to permit smoking in their premises. The bill would prevent City Council from granting new exemptions to the smoking ban. 

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. James Buehler is praising the move.

“Every one, no matter where they work, where they go to dinner, where they go to drink, deserves protections from the harms of smoking, particularly secondhand smoke,” Buehler said.

Diane Phillips of the American Cancer Society also supports the change.

“Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard, containing more than 70 known or probable carcinogens and more than 7,000 substances, including formaldehyde, arsenic and carbon monoxide,” she said.

Existing businesses with exemptions will be grandfathered and keep their waivers.

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