SmokeNicoderm-Filled Rooms

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Hey, the Democrats really are running Capitol Hill now. They're ending the Speaker's Lobby's traditional safe haven for smokers.

For years, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who will presumably chair the House Government Reform Committee, has led the charge to eliminate smoking in the Speaker's Lobby against an uncooperative GOP majority. Indeed, Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) — who was just elected minority leader last week — frequently lit up in the lobby as he chatted with reporters and colleagues in between votes. But last week, Waxman predicted that he would finally get his smoke-free way.

"There's no question that the right health policy is to end smoking in the Speaker's Lobby and I will be surprised if it doesn't happen," Waxman said. "I realize some members want to smoke there, but there's absolutely no reason to force pages and others to breathe secondhand smoke.

It'll be fun to watch how fast this changes if John Boehner actually leads the GOP back to an election victory in '08, '10, or whenever. His skin didn't acquire that Sunkist hue by accident.

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