January 30, 2007
The House General Laws Committee endorsed a bill that would require restaurants to post a sign at their entrance saying they allowed smoking.
House majority Leader Morgan Griffith proposed the bill as an alternative to another bill that would have banned smoking outright in restaurants. Under this bill restaurants that allowed smoking would no longer be required to have no smoking sections.
Griffith said that smoke usually drifts in to those sections anyway. Griffith says that the sign requirement will nudge more restaurants to become smoke free.
The restaurant industry is opposing the bill as well as health advocates but for different reasons.
A lobbyist for restaurants said that the marketplace is already producing more smoke free establishments. Health advocates say that the bill would not protect all workers from the smoke.