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Smoking bill awaits changes by Kaine

Publication Date: 2007-02-23
  • Author:John Reid Blackwell
  • Publication:Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch

Governor has signaled desire for stronger law that could further limit public smoking

A ban on smoking in Virginia restaurants could still happen, but the next move belongs to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

The state Senate yesterday passed a bill, 23-17, that would require restaurants that allow smoking to post signs saying so at public entrances. The bill next goes to Kaine, and some public-health advocates think he is willing to offer amendments that would broaden the legislation.

The sponsor of the bill, Del. H. Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, has said he introduced it as a compromise measure that would encourage more restaurants to go smoke-free, and protect private property rights.

Supporters of stronger laws against indoor smoking opposed the bill, saying it would not protect workers from the health dangers of secondhand smoke. It also would eliminate the requirement that restaurants with more than 50 seats have nonsmoking sections.

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