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News Summary

71 percent in Va. want smoking ban

Publication Date: 1/17/2007
  • Author:JOHN REID BLACKWELL
  • Publication:Potomac News

Supporters of legislation to prohibit smoking in most public, indoor places hope to sway state lawmakers with a poll showing 71 percent of Virginia voters favor such a ban.

The poll of 625 registered Virginia voters also showed support across party lines, with 78 percent of Democrats favoring it, 69 percent of independents and 66 percent of Republicans. The poll was paid for by a coalition of public-health groups that are lobbying for the legislation.

"It is simply unacceptable for any Virginian to be exposed to secondhand smoke," said Del. Algie T. Howell, D-Norfolk, at a news conference announcing the poll results. Howell is sponsoring one of several bills that would bar smoking inside restaurants, theaters, retail stores and other public locations, with few exceptions.

Other bills in the House of Delegates are sponsored by Dels. Harvey B. Morgan, R-Middlesex, Vincent F. Callahan Jr., R-Fairfax, and G. Glenn Oder, R-Newport News.