DV Archive

Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Kaine wants smoking ban strengthened

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Gov. Tim Kaine just wrapped up a press conference where he hammered the smoking ban bill that moved through the House, and at one point looked like a major legislative victory . The problem, according to Kaine, is that the version that passed last night is only a shell of the agreement that he and House speaker William Howell agreed to. 

In the midst of negotiations regarding the bill last night, a laundry list of amendments were added that weakened the force of the original concept. Among them pushing the date of implementation back to January 1, 2010 (after Kaine would be out of office) and still allowing smoking in bars and restaurants that do not allow patrons under the age of 18. (So you neighborhood family chain would be smoke free, but you still come home after a night out at the sports bar smelling like smoke).

Kaine said he was happy the ban passed, but is still going to add amendments of his own and will work with his friends in the Senate to beef the plan up. That sounds like a good idea, but it will then be forced to head back to the House where support is tenuous at best.

The Times-Dispatch has an excellent recap of the vote where they show the divide that is growing in the Republican party. Many Republicans voted against the plan yesterday and it was only after the softening of the bill that it became palatable for many who had mixed feelings. Now that it has passed, the most vociferous tobacco defenders seem prepared to not back down, while at the same time anti-smoking advocates are renewing their calls for a bill that contains the true restrictions they were calling for.

It appears this fight is far from over.

Written by Ryan Nobles

February 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Posted in General Assembly 2009

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One Response

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  1. I think smoking in bars and restaurants should be banned. My husband on occasion smokes, and we both used to smoke years ago until we wisely kicked the addiction. The second-hand smoke is terrible and is a public health hazzard increasing premiums on insurance and health care and is a general health nussance. Smokers who want to smoke can go outside like my mother used to make us do and return to a non-smoking atmosphere. My sister and her non-smoking friends would accompany me more to these bars where we dance and sing. Her reasons for not coming and spending considerable money is the smoke. The businesses we regularly support have not caught on that most folks want to have smoke go away. I support these places 2-4 times a week. The smoke needs to go. There are smokers and they are learning to go outside unless they have no manners. Tobacco companies know that their products are addictive and so do most folks, so they are not going to lose smokers by banning smoking in restaurants and bars. Smokers are going to show up anyway rather than stay home if they want to meet folks in public places. The current ban agreement is too SMALL of a ban and makes little sense. If our politicians are so SMALL in their mentality and only need to have contributions from the industry, they need help; and we will keep an eye out on those voting wrongly. The Republicans and Dems are making a mistake in thinking the margins of voting may be close in this northern VA area. I did not vote locally recently because I knew I did not have to in the recent chairman race, but I would have if I thought there was a chance the wrong candidate on the issues was going to win. I am an independent voter.

    Nancy Appler

    February 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm


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