On Tuesday of this week, a recently enacted smoking ban began in restaurants and bars across the entire state of Virginia. As both a rabid opponent of smoking and as an ex-smoker, I could not be happier. Here in Norfolk, most of the restaurants have been no-smoking for quite some time, but there are still a few that allow it, at least until this week. This move is quite a big step for Virginia - a place whose existence owes a great debt to tobacco. For years any anti-smoking legislation was held hostage by a small but powerful group of lawmakers who represented areas of the state where the tobacco crop was an important part of the economy, or where major cigarette manufacturers had their factories. Thankfully times are now different.
Tonight we plan on celebrating my wife's birthday at one of our favorite restaurants, and will not have to ask for a table well away from the smoking section.
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