Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Virginia House Turns Back on Voters, Rejects Smoking Ban

UPDATE: Here's the link to the roll call vote.

Virginia's House of Delegates today rejected a statewide smoking ban in bars and restaurants by a vote of 40-59. I'll post a link to the full roll call vote as soon as it's up.

As the Not Larry Sabato blog reported this week, a Survey USA poll had shown a full 65% of Virginians supported the ban -- and that number includes smokers. The demographic breakdown of who supports the ban:

- 20% of smokers
- 70% of Northern Virginians
- 83% of nonsmokers
While this is a defeat for the health of Virginians, even the vote itself is progress. Until recently, delegates were able to hide behind a subcommittee. But now those 59 delegates will have to go home and explain why they sided with the cigarette lobby over their constituents.
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