When Democrats ran the house, the health and environment subcommittee office was a no-smoking preserve ruled by anti- tobacco crusader Representative Henry Waxman. Today the subcommittee is part of the domain of Republican Thomas Bliley Jr., a pipe lover who hails from the tobacco state of Virginia. Smoking is now accepted in the old subcommittee room, and congressional aides gleefully flick their ashes into a glass ashtray placed atop Waxman's picture.

Capitol Hill is the last best public place in America for smokers, a refuge where lighting up is countenanced as both a venerable tradition and an up-to-the-minute political statement about...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!