A new bill introduced in Virginia would ban outdoor smoking in public places, including bars, restaurants, and cinemas.
The bill would also prohibit smoking in bars, theaters, theaters with more than 50 seats, and places of worship, but allows bars and restaurants to open later to allow people to get a better night’s sleep.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D), has also introduced legislation in the state legislature that would prohibit the sale of indoor cigarettes to minors, prohibit the use of cell phones, and prohibit the carrying of guns.
This is a big victory for the tobacco industry and the tobacco lobby, which has spent more than $40 million lobbying against the bill, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
On Monday, the Virginia Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit group that advocates for more access to healthcare, published an analysis of Virginia’s tobacco laws and found that, on average, they prevent 1,100 deaths per year.
A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling in July found that Virginia is one of the top states in the country in terms of the number of smokers and non-smokers who die each year from smoking-related causes.
“The public health implications of this bill are dire,” said Jessica C. Brown, executive director of the Virginia Tobacco Council.
“We know that tobacco kills people.
This is the wrong time to make it easier for people to continue smoking.”