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Stafford County Sun.com: Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil? Non-Smoking Bill Promising Print

By Tracy Bell, Managing Editor 

© Created:  March 02, 2011 1:47 PM


Del. Patrick Hope, a Democrat in Arlington, tried this year to put former Gov. Timothy Kaine's bans on smoking into the state code and expand them.

The bill included any building owned or leased by the Commonwealth or any agency or building owned or leased by a locality.

His bill never was taken up for consideration, according to a Media General article from Olympia Meola.

So, smoking is allowed in state lawmakers' and legislative assistants' offices.

Hope said he'll introduce his bill again and has been thanked by those who routinely walk through the legislative offices, according to the article.

Stafford House Speaker Bill Howell, in this particular article, mentions that no one has brought him a formal complaint about the General Assembly Building smoking policy.

As a non-smoker, I can tell you that simply because people don't automatically think to call the House Speaker or write a formal letter of complaint, doesn't mean that they aren't bothered by second-hand smoke.

It isn't second nature for everyone to speak out, to take action or to jump up and solve problems. Some aren't "solvers," but still don't deserve to reap the disadvantages of not speaking up.

Hopefully legislators aren't handling all problems in this way.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil, in a sense, is the bottom line.

If no one complains, nothing gets done.

These offices shouldn't be treated any differently than the other areas that ban smoking, especially if other staff has to walk through this section as a common area.

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Tracy Bell is managing editor of the Stafford County Sun. Reach her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it