Friday, February 20, 2009

Virginia passes a ban on smoking in restaurants

"Tobacco has been an integral part of Virginia's economy since its earliest days, and state legislators have historically steered well clear of any laws that might damage it. But as the state has shifted away from its rural, agricultural roots, that's changed, and both houses of the General Assembly voted Thursday to pass a historic bill that would ban smoking in nearly all restaurants except those where there is a separately ventilated smoking room," reports Mason Adams in The Roanoke Times.

Gov. Tim Kaine said he would sign the bill, which would take effect Dec. 1, and information from his office "suggested that Virginia's new ban would be the toughest among the nation's top five tobacco-producing states, which also include North Carolina, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. Among them, only Tennessee has a statewide ban, which exempts private clubs and any establishments that require proof of age to enter," reports Jim Nolan of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. (Read more)

Adams reports Kaine "said that Southside Virginia is shifting from its reliance on tobacco to a more diverse economy based in part on 'energy crops' such as switchgrass. He said his energy initiatives will "provide a new opportunity for the agricultural sector, including folks who were in tobacco farming, to be profitable on family farms with energy crops." (Read more)


Anonymous said...

Smoking in restaurants is imposing those who don't want to be exposed to harmful carcinogens. Virginia did the right thing in passing this. There are many other places to smoke before and after you eat. How do people hold cigarettes while they're eating anyway?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear that finally we in VA wil not have to eat in resturants and be exposed to second hand smoke! Maybe I can go to some of the resturants that everyone says is good, but they don't have a no smoking section or the non smoking section is really not one! Thanks to our law makers!