At Bravo Group, we’re known for our involvement with helping to establish Pennsylvania’s Clean Indoor Air Act. During a strategic public advocacy campaign, Bravo partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American Lung Association (ALA) and American Heart Association (AHA) to help pass an indoor smoking ban in order to help reduce the negative effects individuals receive from exposure to secondhand smoke.
At the time, the campaign was a hot-button issue as many groups opposed the ban, including business owners who didn’t want to turn customers away by prohibiting smoking in their establishments.
Early on, Bravo Group knew that in order for the Clean Indoor Air Act to become law our firm had to develop a campaign that informed the public and lawmakers about the adverse health effects of secondhand smoke. The campaign involved awareness-driven advertising and media relations strategies that targeted publications across the state. Bravo also lobbied decision makers and state legislators in Philadelphia and Harrisburg to inform them on the importance of the legislation.
The Clean Indoor Air Act was first enacted in 2007 in Philadelphia, and in 2008, the act was enacted throughout Pennsylvania. The state’s passing of the act was result of Bravo’s lengthy campaign where our firm helped to mobilize audiences by producing advertisements, informing the media to earn more attention and developing alliances with other organizations to help spread the message about the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Clean Indoor Air Act: 8 Years Later
Now, in 2016, lawmakers including Senator Stewart Greenleaf and Representative Thomas Murt are hoping to expand the law. Last year, Sen. Greenleaf and Rep. Murt introduced bills that would extend the indoor smoking ban to certain bars, casino gaming floors, hotel floors, private clubs and outdoor patio areas at food establishments. Murt’s bill would also ban the use of e-cigarettes these locations: e-cigarettes use has become more popular among young adults over the last few years.
ALA president and CEO Deborah Brown has vocalized her support of Murt’s proposed bill, calling it a “necessary improvement” in a June Penn Live article.
Murt’s bill, House Bill 682, was successful at banning smoking in bars, with certain exceptions.
However, it has, thus far, been unsuccessful at closing the loopholes around smoking in casinos and private clubs.
What will happen next with the Clean Indoor Air Act remains to be seen, but as a Bravo intern, I’m proud of the work that both Bravo Group and the health coalition have done to keep us heart-happy and breathing easy.
Rose Talbot, Harrisburg Office intern