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Virginia legislature takes steps toward curbs on smoking in restaurants

The action in a state where the world's largest cigarette factory churns out Marlboros shows how vilified smoking has become.

February 10, 2009|Associated Press

RICHMOND, VA. — In a sign of how vilified smoking has become, Virginia lawmakers have taken a big step toward curbs on lighting up in restaurants.

In a state where the world's largest cigarette factory churns out Marlboros, the House of Delegates approved a watered-down version of a bill that allows smoking in private clubs, walled-in restaurant enclosures, outdoor cafes or places minors can't go.

Proposed penalties for violations are hardly draconian: a maximum civil fine of $25 for smokers or restaurateurs who defy the law.

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