The smoky halls of the Capitol under the Republicans


Going back decades, some congressional offices conjure up updated images of smoky halls filled with tobacco salesmen, once again filled with the acrid cigarette smoke of lung cancer Republicans.

Reuters reporter Patricia Zengerle believes the smoke is now more common because more Republican smokers are likely to choose to smoke in their offices now that the party has won a majority in the House.

“So there’s smoking on the home side of the Capitol after the Republican takeover,” Zengerle said earlier this week.

Some reporters joked that lawmakers were “hotboxing” cigarette smoke — smoking in a confined space, which is commonly used to refer to joint sniffing.

“When you have a change in party control and the member they enter the office … smokes, you have a smoker,” Zengerle wrote.

The District of Columbia requires all public buildings to be smoke-free, and an executive order signed by former President Bill Clinton prohibits smoking in federal buildings. But House lawmakers’ private offices are exempt, making the Capitol one of the few remaining “office buildings” in the country where smoking is allowed indoors, Bloomberg noted.

A political reporter for the Daily Beast complained in a “hot cigarette” tweet in “a certain rules committee chair’s office” near the House press gallery. He added smell goes through “several layers”. because his office is close to a “high-use” elevator.

House Rules Committee Chairman Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) can often be seen smoking in his committee area on the third floor of the Capitol, Bloomberg noted. It should be noted that Cole a tobacco association speaker events. It seems to leave a special mark on the right to smoke.

HuffPost’s Arthur Delaney reported, “When lawmakers returned to Washington on Jan. 3, they were struck by the distinct aroma of cigarette smoke outside the Rules Committee. Since then, the smell has remained strong,” he said.

In the press gallery beyond the office, “a couple of air fresheners” are running to deal with the smell, Delaney said.

Overwhelmed by the odors wafting from his office this week, Cole vowed, “I will not give up cigars.”

Several others took to Twitter to share their concerns about the health effects and possible dangers to smokers. nicotine damage To the Capitol’s walls and precious works of art.

A long series of efforts to drastically reduce smoking in the Capitol in 1871 failed to stop congressional lawmakers from smoking in their offices, exposing constituents and visitors to the smoke.

Republican leaders have a particular reputation as smokers.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) smoked so much that incoming Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) needed new carpets, new paint and an ozone machine to clean the air at taxpayer expense. order to make the place usable again. In 2015, the New York Times reported at the time.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) banned smoking in most parts of the building in 2007, including the popular speaker’s lobby when Democrats were in charge, but members could still smoke in their offices.

Smoking is prohibited anywhere on the Senate side of the Capitol. The Centers for Disease Control says that smoking causes 480,000 deaths a year in the United States, nearly 41,000 of which are attributable to secondhand smoke inhalation.


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