Monday, November 30, 2009

No more smoking in Virginia restaurants

The new ban on smoking goes into effect tomorrow.

Effective December 1, 2009, smoking will be prohibited in restaurants that are open to the public with a few exceptions.

I noted recently in a restaurant near my house with a heavy smoking bar that they had installed a new ventilation system in the bar and were installing doors to enter into the bar. This is to be in compliance with the new law which allows any portion of a restaurant that is structurally separated from the non-smokers with its own ventilation system and at least one public entrance into the non-smoking area to be exempt from the new law. That is, you can smoke in those bars.

The law affects bars and lounges, since in Virginia, to receive an ABC license, the establishment must serve food and show a set percentage of food sales.

Bowling alleys, skating rinks and other places that have a snack bar are also affected by the new law. The ban also applies to hookah and cigar bars if they prepare food. Restrooms must also be smoke-free.
More information at Virginia Department of Health site,