Smoking is no longer allowed in the U.S. Capitol.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced today that members of the House may no longer smoke in the Speaker’s Lobby, where lawmakers, reporters and congressional aidesÂ gather during votes. According to reports, the room is often hazy from cigarette smoke.
“The days of smoke-filled rooms in the United States Capitol are over,” Pelosi said. “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.”
According to reports, only a few smokers objected to the new rule. Among those is minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who was a regular smoker.
“It’s fine,” Boehner said.
The American Lung Association praised the decision.
“(Pelosiâ€™s) action demonstrates to the American people that Congress is playing by the same set of rules as everyone else,” the Association said in a statement.
A ban on smoking in the workplace in Washington D.C. went into effect last week, outlawing smoking anywhere in a public building. Legislators have a bit of a reprieve, though. They may still smoke in their committee and private offices, and in rooms outside twoÂ cafeterias.