You probably know the feeling: walking into a smoky bar or restaurant and suddenly your nose, eyes and throat burn. Suddenly your hair smells and the coat you just had dry-cleaned now smells like a cigarette factory. These are just the minor inconveniences of indoor cigarette smoke.
Being exposed to secondhand smoke not only can be smelly, it can also be dangerous. According to the American Cancer Society, secondhand smoke may cause cancer, heart disease, asthma problems, and lower respiratory tract infections. It also costs over 10 billion dollars every year in medical expenses.
Unfortunately, many people think that smoking in designated areas is an effective way to eliminate the hazards of secondhand smoke. This, however, is not the case. The American Cancer Society pointed out that the only way to keep non-smokers safe from secondhand smoke is to prohibit smoking indoors. Ventilators and designated smoking areas won’t get rid of the smoke…or the health risks.
For a long time, Pennsylvanians were exposed to secondhand smoke in many establishments. Nonsmokers who were employees at these establishments were exposed to secondhand smoke during every shift. Many employees were forced to make the decision to either be exposed to the carcinogenic smoke or not get a much-needed paycheck.
The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association knew that they needed to take action to protect the public and employees from being exposed to secondhand smoke. In 2007, they partnered up with Bravo Group with a goal of achieving clean indoor air in Pennsylvania.
There were plenty of groups opposed to the legislation. Smokers did not want any more restrictions placed on where they could and could not smoke. In addition, business owners feared that prohibiting smoking would deter business.
The team rallied supporters who were tired of inhaling indoor smoke and encouraged them to contact their legislators.
Despite tough opposition, Bravo Group was able to win the fight and a Clean Indoor Air Act was first put into effect in Philadelphia. Then in 2008, the Clean Indoor Air Act was enacted in all of Pennsylvania. This act prohibits smoking in a public place or workplace, with just a few exceptions.
Bravo Group has helped many great causes and organizations achieve their goals to make Pennsylvania a better place. What is great about this achievement is that its effects can be seen wherever you go. Now in Pennsylvania you don’t have to worry about a restaurant being too smoky or working next to a colleague who chain-smokes inside. Personally I am glad that such a law has been put into place and I think it is pretty cool to be interning at a firm so dedicated to the common good. Now we can clear the air for a new, healthier Pennsylvania!