A couple of new studies just released have confirmed something we already strongly suspected: smoking in public kills a whole lot of people every year. One study found that smoking bans in public places cut heart attacks by 17 percent in the first year and "by as much as 36 percent over three years," according to a Reuters news report. Another revealed that they cut the rate of heart attacks by 26 percent and could help avert 154,000 heart attacks a year.
That's a lot of health care money and lives saved improved. In the U.S., 32 states have smoking bans, Virginia not among them, though it will join the crowd in December ... years after it should have.
One of those primarily responsible for Virginia's lack of a public smoking ban (bills get killed in committee consistently so the creepoids who oppose them won't have to publicly express their opposition) is Del. Morgan Griffith of Salem, the Majority Leader in the Virginia House of Delegates. He is adamantly opposed to the ban, saying restaurants can post signs saying they'd rather you not smoke if they want to, but that it's not the government's business.
He's running for re-election. It's time to run him off and replace him with somebody who is concerned about the health of those of us who choose not to breathe other people's smoke.