Smoke Out

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Smoke-free environs continue to trickle down south, as yesterday Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine announced that the Commonwealth will join northern neighbors D.C. and Maryland by banning smoking in bars and restaurants. Kaine has championed a ban for years, but he was finally able to reach a compromise with state legislators, who are no doubt heavily lobbied by big tobacco. According to Kaine’s website, the “legislation will ban smoking in nearly all restaurants across the Commonwealth, allowing narrow exceptions for private clubs and restaurants with a designated smoking room that is physically separated and independently ventilated from non-smoking dining areas.”

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This news came on the same day that President Obama signed a new children’s health bill, which includes raising the federal tobacco tax to the highest it’s ever been.

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