House, Senate pass bill to ban smoking for restaurants, bars

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Starting Dec. 1, smoking in restaurants and bars will be prohibited in Virginia unless they have rooms with a separate ventilation system.

The state House of Delegates and Senate both passed a bill that would prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars. The ban would also not affect private clubs.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has promised to sign the measure.

Kaine and Speaker of the House William J. Howell had brokered a compromise earlier this month. Some House Republicans tried to weaken the bill, but were persuaded that most of the public supported a smoking ban.

The passage of the bill is a major victory for Kaine, who has pushed unsuccessfully in previous years for a restaurant smoking ban. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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