With the new year ushering in a D.C. smoking ban, House members could take refuge in puffing away in the Speaker's lobby, an ornate room next to the House chamber. Members, reporters and staffers hang out there during votes.
Not any more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday banned smoking in the lobby to save all from exposure to secondhand smoke.
"The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over,'' said Pelosi in a statement making a substantive and symbolic point.
This is the release from Pelosi's office
Pelosi: 'The Days of Smoke-filled Rooms in the United States Capitol Are Over'
Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement this morning concerning smoking in the Speaker's Lobby:
"The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over.
"Medical science has unquestionably established the dangerous effects of secondhand smoke, including an increased risk of cancer and respiratory diseases. I am a firm believer that Congress should lead by example. Effective immediately, smoking will no longer be permitted in the Speaker's Lobby of the United States Capitol.
"Recently, the District of Columbia banned smoking in public areas, such as restaurants and other establishments, and I applaud the District for joining the dozens of other major cities, including my home town of San Francisco, in recognizing the need to protect the public from secondhand smoke.
"As Members of Congress, we must be held to a higher standard. We can no longer risk the health of colleagues, staff, pages, reporters and others who pass through the Speaker's Lobby each day."
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