Beginning December 1st of this year, the state of Virginia will enforce a non-smoking ban that restricts smoking to separate rooms that contain their own ventilation system. For those of you who don’t immediately understand the significance of this bill, which was signed by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine this past Monday, consider that Virginia is the home of Marlboro cigarettes, one of the most widely-recognized brands worldwide.
Marlboro is just one of the many cigarette brands owned by Philip Morris, which also resides in Virginia. Other brands include Virginia Slims, Merit, Parliament, Alpine, Basic, Cambridge, Bristol, Bucks, Chesterfield, Collector’s Choice, Commander, English Ovals, Lark, L&M, Benson & Hedges, Players and Saratoga. This is a huge development for Marlboro Country, and perhaps the final nail in the coffin of the image that the cigarette industry represents to the public — that of wide, sweeping plains and rugged cowboys firing up a smoke as they go about their daily duties. Actually, the plains areas might be the only places left for smokers once this ban goes into effect, so maybe that’s one positive for smokers to look forward to.
A little under half of the United States now feature smoking bans, but it’s unclear if this has affected cigarette sales in the aggregate at all. However, as reported earlier, there is relief for smokers in the form of the SuperSmoker, the nicotine delivery service that resembles a regular cigarette, but with far less of a secondary smoke risk. Perhaps this ban will see a rise in the purchase rate of SuperSmokers? Advice to Virginians: smoke ‘em while you got ‘em.