The End Of The Smoke-Filled Roomby Doug Mataconis
When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, the District of Columbia will join many other jurisdictions around the country in banning smoking in virtually all public places:
Smoking in District bars is about to be snuffed out, but not without a last, hazy hurrah.
The Jefferson Hotel plans to pass out cigars and cigarettes and have a hookah handy in its fabled lounge on New Year’s Eve.
McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon already had its last butt stubbed out Dec. 19 in a cigar-filled night billed as “One Last Smoke.”
Nonsmokers may now breathe a sigh of relief.
Nightclubs and restaurant bars must be smoke-free by Tuesday to comply with a ban that most restaurant, bar and hotel owners opposed but that antismoking advocates pushed through the D.C. Council in January.
“Everybody’s waiting to see what happens,” said Paul J. Cohn, a restaurateur for 25 years and vice chairman of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.
The smoking ban began incrementally. In April, smoking became illegal in the dining areas of restaurants. At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the prohibition extends to bars.