Rickie Fulcher


Most people probably do not know that as many as 65,000 nonsmokers die from secondhand smoke exposure each year. In fact, secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. During the 2008 session of the Virginia General Assembly, state legislators commendably introduced twelve smoke-free bills -the most in the legislature's history. While many of these efforts to protect the public health succeeded in the Senate, a House of Delegates subcommittee declined to hear many of the bills, effectively removing them from further consideration. Clearly, Virginia has a long way to go, but support for smoke-free legislation is growing. More and more citizens and legislators are recognizing that this is a vital public health issue for the families in our Commonwealth.