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Restaurant smoking ban goes to the governor

Publication Date: 2009-02-20
  • Author:Jim Nolan
  • Publication:Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch

Virginia, which 400 years ago helped found a nation on the leafy cash crop of tobacco, yesterday took a significant step toward smoke-free restaurants and bars.

Lawmakers passed and sent to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine a measure that restricts smoking in restaurants to ones with rooms that are ventilated separately and to private clubs.

Kaine, who in 2006 had issued an executive order banning smoking in state government buildings, said he will sign the legislation.

"I think it will be signed quite swiftly -- in the quickest-drying ink I can find," Kaine said outside his office.

The Democratic-controlled state Senate voted 27-13 to pass Senate Bill 1105. The tally in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates was 60-39.