400 hundred Years ago slavery and tobacco were the two economic engines that founded Virginia. Well slavery is long gone and racism publicly denounced but tobacco's roots in Virginia, being the insidious weed that it is, has proven to be a lot harder to pluck from our garden.
As a healthcare professional who has seen with my own eyes people remove their oxygen to go sit outside in the cold to smoke a cigarette through the hole in their neck (I swear every word is true)I know sadly too well the human health toll it exacts and tobacco's additive grasp. It is for this reason that today is a great day in Virginia when people not politics prevailed, when the currency of commonsense meant more than than the currency of big Tobacco lobbyists who fought hard to stop Public Smoking Legislation in Virginia.
That's right the Statehouse in Richmond Virginia,the Mother Ship of Big Tobacco and Philip Morris has finally succumbed to what Del Kilgore called an oncoming "Train" of overwhelming public sentiment who favored this legislation.
Delegate Kilgore who offered amendments to try and weaken the bill per my last entry accepted defeat saying, "One thing I have learned in politics is, don't get in front of a train". Well Mr Kilgore you still don't get it, Public Smoking legislation was never about politics, it was always a non partisan public health issue and
now it will soon be The Law.
-Prohibits smoking inside all public restaurants, with exceptions for eateries with separately ventilated closed off smoking areas
- Exemption for private clubs only
-Permits smoking in open outdoor patio
- If patio area is the only public entrance it must have a raised open roof
-An employer cannot force an employee to work in the closed off smoking area