The "ashtray" of the east
Supporters of turning Maryland's bars and restaurants smoke-free were ecstatic about news that Virginia's Senate had gathered momentum to pass a statewide smoking ban.
"It appears to me that hell has frozen over in Richmond," said Del. Barbara Frush (D-Prince George's), the bill's sponsor in the House, where there was a hearing Tuesday in the Health Committee.
"Virginia was the last place I thought it would pass," she said. "It just adds momentum to what we're doing here."
But word that the more tobacco-oriented state to the South had "one-upped" Maryland, as one supporter put it, also caused some to turn a critical eye to Maryland.
Eleven states, including Delaware, New York and New Jersey have passed statewide smoke-free laws.
"Maryland and Pennsylvania are backwaters," said Eric Gally, a lobbyist in Annapolis for the American Cancer Society. "We're becoming the ashtray of the Mid-Atlantic."
Posted by: MK | February 15, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse
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