Smoking ban gains support, but gradually

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The governor said the legislation has a chance this year, citing efforts the first two years of his term to restrict smoking. When he issued an executive order to ban smoking in all government buildings shortly after he took office, he said, “I was surprised that I didn’t get pushback from the tobacco industry.”

He was even more encouraged last spring after he amended a bill that would have allowed smoking only in restaurants that display conspicuously posted signs that state: “Smoking Permitted.” Mr. Kaine then made it an outright restaurant-smoking prohibition. The House rejected the amendment, on a 59-40 vote.

“I was surprised it got as many votes as it got, and a lot of delegates came up to me afterward and said, ‘Hey, we didn’t vote against this just to vote against it. You change a few details here and there and we might be able to support it,’ ” Mr. Kaine said.

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