Recently, the General Assembly approved and the Governor signed into law comprehensive amendments to the Clean Indoor Air Act which will prohibit smoking in most indoor public places.The compromise version of Senate Bill 246 that was ultimately approved does exempt a few places, such as bars, taverns and private clubs whose officers have voted to allow smoking on their premises. Private residences are also not covered by the new law unless being used as day care facilities.

In addition, smoking can be permitted on up to 25 percent of gaming floors and in no more than 25 percent of lodging establishments such as hotels. The new law does not allow for counties or municipalities to enact ordinances that are stricter than the state law, although Philadelphia has been permitted to maintain its current ordinance (but cannot make changes from this point forward that would be inconsistent with state law).

I voted for Senate Bill 246 because it acknowledges the health risks posed by secondhand smoke to Pennsylvanians. Although I would have preferred to see the legislation be stricter with fewer exceptions, I chose to support this bill because I believe it is a good and necessary first step toward the goal of protecting citizens' health.

Woman Kind addresses unique healthcare needs. Services are being provided by women and for women at Ephrata Community Hospital to address their particular health situations.

Woman Kind is a full range of women's health services focusing on areas such as women's cardiology and maternity care. The initiative also offers a comprehensive breast care program to help answer questions and guide individuals through the treatment process.

As part of Woman Kind, Heart Line offers cardiac risk screening to evaluate each person's risk for developing cardiovascular disease. Further, the Women's MidLife Health Program helps women use a mind, body and spirit approach to address issues and concerns. Counseling and education for women in all stages of life are also available to help manage the balance of life and provide resources, research tools, classes and events.

Certified massage therapists are available to alleviate stress and increase well-being, while yoga and Pilates classes are offered year-round. All of these services are critical preventative health measures that can address problems before they turn into something more serious, and help women live more healthy overall lives.

For more information about Woman Kind, call (717) 720-5750 or visit the web at www.ephratahospital.org.

Did you know

The Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown is celebrating its 140th anniversary with a Limited Edition Series Collection of men's hats?

Each of the 15 hats in the collection represents a decade in the company's history, conveying the American culture from the 1860s to the present through bowler hats, fedoras, pork pie hats and many more. The hats will include the story of their style and why it was relevant to the decade; every hat will also be packaged in a special anniversary box with a lining designed uniquely for this celebration.

The 140 Collection sets that will be produced and sold through the www.bollman140.com web site will include a signed certificate of authenticity as well.

The Bollman Hat Company, founded in 1868, is America's oldest hatmaker and has become a true local treasure. I encourage you to take the time to visit this significant historical presence in our community and learn more about our background through their hats.

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