Smoking to be illegal? (No, the other kind of smoking)

A DC-area NBC affiliate is suggesting that the General Assembly is moving toward passing the anti-smoking legislation championed by Roanoke senator Brandon Bell, which would effectively outlaw smoking in restaurants and other indoor public spaces and slap smokers with a $100 fine for a first offense.

A hidden implication of SB1161 is that it would also ban smoking in nightclubs. That's because state laws prohibit bars from deriving more than 65 percent of their total income from alcohol. Food and nonalcoholic beverage sales must account for such a large portion of the sales that all nightlife establishments effectively qualify as "restaurants."

Opponents of the bill point out that business owners are free to ban smoking in their establishments individually; that's precisely what Starr Hill's upstairs concert hall did a few months ago.

The The Richmond Times-Dispatch notes that similar legislation was simultaneously shot down in the House.

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4 comments

It will never pass. There is a reason UVA is #1 in lung replacements.

Nothing more fun that having your lungs replaced. Mmmm...time to light up.

The only thing I hate more than some smoker blowing his/her nasty fumes in my face at a bar is smelling like an ashtray after a night out. Get with the times, Virginia, there's more to you than big tabacky.

Heaven forbid we let the market determine this. The more people who go where's there's no smoke, the more no smoking places we'll have. Vote with your dollars instead of encouraging more big gubmint.

Starr Hill banned smoking? That's awesome. I haven't been there in quite some time, in no small part because I'm sick of coming home and just stinking. I'll have to hit up some shows again.