February 5, 2007
The Senate passed a sweeping public smoking ban bill that will now go to the House of Delegates where similar legislation had already died in subcommittee.
Senator Brandon Bell, R-Roanoke, is the bill's sponsor. The bill would ban smoking in restaurants and most other indoor public places. Bell says the bill is necessary to protect the health of customers and workers.
Senator Martin Williams, R-Newport News, is one of the opponents of the bill. He says that the government shouldn't interfere with restaurateurs who have, in some cases, invested millions in buildings with separate areas for smokers and non smokers.
Bell's bill is not the only bill alive dealing with smoking. The House passed a bill requiring restaurants that allow smoking to post a sign saying so.