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Statewide smoking ban will affect nearly all restaurants

Gov. Kaine and legislative leaders are announcing what they call a “landmark agreement” to pass a statewide smoking ban in Virginia’s bars and restaurants.  The only exceptions, they say, are for private clubs and for restaurants with independently-ventilated smoking rooms.

The measure apparently is a done deal.  Kaine says that he “worked with legislative leaders to craft an agreement acceptable to both parties and both houses.”  House Speaker William Howell is on board, with supportive comments in the governor’s news release.

By Peter Vieth

3 comments

  1. I predict that a lot of restaurants and especially bars will convert to “private clubs” that require a one time, minimal membership fee in order to continue to have smoking. This is what happens in many states where liquor by the drink is allowed only in private clubs — the bar area is designated a private club. You go into Applebees, for example, and order a drink. The server asks if you are a member of their “private club” and if you are not (they will have given you a “membership card” if you’ve been there before), then you have to join for a small fee (which sometimes includes a free drink). The same think will happen in Virginia; you’ll go to Applebee’s or wherever and notice that people are smoking — when you complaint to the manager, he or she will point to a small sign on the front door that says something like “Private Club — a $5 membership fee will be added to every bill — $5 discount on every bill with membership.” BINGO! It’s a private club and everyone who walks trough the door is a member!

  2. the ban lobbyists will be returning to eliminate ALL exemptions. It’s instructed on the last page of their guidebook.
    http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/CIA_Fundamentals.pdf

  3. Today is a day to go down in the history books. The people of Virginia were heard louder than Big Tobacco; great news for Virginia Bars and Restaurants, too. Bottom line is that smoking stinks and non-smokers don’t want to smell it when they’re eating out. Whether studies are considered skewed or not, 80% of the population are non-smokers, and we frankly don’t want to be exposed to it. Maryland saw a substantial increase in business when they went non-smoking. Which population would an owner rather cater to – 1 out of 5, OR 4 out of 5? Non-smokers can finally enjoy the bar setting without being forced out by smoke! The facts are in the numbers. I’m not one to deny anyone their right to smoke, I just don’t want it around me.

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