Virginians react to smoking ban

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There are many arguments having for and against the idea of smoking in public places like bars and restaurants. However when you ask average people about how they feel about the issue, the answers are usually pretty simple and based completely on their own convenience.

For the past two years Governor Kaine has fought hard to ban smoking in many public places, using lofty goals regarding public health and safety.

"We are never going to fix the nation's health care challenges until we start off tackling the nation's health challenges," said Kaine.

To help his cause he enlisted the help of health care organizations and anti-smoking advocates. But when average people are asked why they are against the smoking ban, their answers are pretty simple.

"I go in restaurants and I don't want to smell smoke when I'm eating and stuff," said resident Avery Washington.

"Well I sort of like it because I don't smoke and I don't really like the smell of smoke," said Janet Weinstein.

The same goes for those who argued against the ban. Delegate Chris Peace invoked lofty language about individual rights when he told us why he voted no.

"We think it is a freedom and liberty issue and people should make their own choices," said Peace.

But for people who the ban impacts directly, they just want to smoke.

"I think it is a bad idea, because your preventing people from smoking and doing whatever they want to do," said Marie Charlotte.

In just a few short months, this ban becomes a reality. It is a change, that could dramatically alter the dining out experience for at least some people in Virginia.

The ban goes into effect December 1. It will greatly restrict smoking in public places, making it available only in private clubs, and establishments with separate rooms that are ventilated.

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