Cigarette zones go up in smoke

The office of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dan Beard announced in April its intention to close the rooms, which sit on the edges of the cafeterias, to open them up for more non-smoking eating space and to promote a healthier lifestyle.

But the details as to when the areas would be terminated were not released until last week, when smoking staffers came face to face with signs posted on the doors by the Architect of the Capitol.

The closure has some smokers huffing and puffing at the news.

“It’s just so inconvenient,” said an employee of the Capitol Visitor Center who uses the Cannon smoking room. The employee declined to give his name because he was unauthorized to speak to the press.

“There’s no reason to close it. This is some soapbox for a political policy. There’s so few of us that it’s like Prohibition: It’s ridiculous.”

On Monday, many of the smokers had no idea that they would have to go outside come Thursday morning.

Neither the office of the CAO nor the House Administration Committee, which oversees the functions of the House, has released plans to offer smokers an alternative to going outside.