Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Virginia House passes smoking ban

Tobacco is still one of Virginia's major cash crops, and Philip Morris, the cigarette manufacturer, has its headquarters in Richmond. But yesterday, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would ban smoking in most of the state's restaurants and bars, following years of similar bills being shot down in the legislature. The House, long dominated by rural interests but now less so, has been the main obstacle. The House bill may be too weak for the Senate, but the vote "makes it likely that a ban in some form will become law," reports Anita Kumar of The Washington Post. (Read more)

The measure was a compromise plan worked out between Republican House Speaker Bill Howell and Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine. The House added exceptions for venues booked for private functions or times when establishments are not open to minors. The bill also allows restaurants to have a separate room for smokers; an earlier version required a separate ventilation system. The bill's Senate sponsor, Sen. Ralph Northam said he could not support any of the amendments, writes Mason Adams for The Roanoke Times. (Read more)

1 comment:

t@tjs said...

People need to keep in mind that there are no bars in the state of Virginia-they are all classified as restaurants. I am a tax paying entrepreneur who signed up to purchase a smoking "restaurant" just a few short years ago. My square footage doesn't allow for the construction of a smoking room.
90% of my clientele are smokers. I am a small business owner who feels that if you don't want to be in the smoke, then stay out of smoking "restaurants." I have a business to run. These are hard times and this is not the time to put us small guys into bankruptcy.