January 19, 2017
The Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association is questioning whether Allegheny County has the legal authority to institute a proposed vaping ban that’s been in the works since May. A Jan. 12 letter to Allegheny County Council members from the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the association points to the preemption clause in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act.
Section 11 of the act, titled “Preemption of local ordinances,” reads: “This act shall supersede any ordinance, resolution or regulation adopted by a political subdivision concerning smoking in a public place. No political subdivision shall have the authority to adopt or enforce any ordinance, regulation or resolution which is in conflict with this act.” Michael Parker, solicitor for the Allegheny County Health Department, said the department’s legal analysis determined vaping products are not covered by the Clean Indoor Air Act or its preemption clause.