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News Summary

Senate rejects bill to ban smoking in public places

Publication Date: 2005-02-09
  • Author:Kevin Miller
  • Publication:Roanoke (VA) Times & World News
The 26-14 vote was a clear indication that lawmakers aren't ready to further restrict the state's top cash crop.

The full Senate snuffed out a bill Tuesday that would have banned smoking in most public places and businesses, including restaurants.

Bill sponsor Sen. Bill Mims jokingly predicted that the golden tobacco leaves painted on the Senate chamber ceiling would not fall to the ground should the Senate vote to enact tough anti-smoking laws. But the lopsided 26-14 vote moments later made it clear that Virginia lawmakers aren't ready to further restrict the state's top cash crop - or the people who choose to buy it. Senate Bill 1191 - the so-called "Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act" - would have prohibited smoking in most enclosed, indoor areas used by the general public.