updated 3/9/2009 5:21:10 PM ET 2009-03-09T21:21:10

The home state of Marlboro cigarettes and the world's largest cigarette factory is banning most smoking in restaurants and bars.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine signed a bill Monday that generally restricts smoking to separate rooms that have their own ventilation. It takes effect Dec. 1.

Twenty-three of 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., have banned smoking in most public places, including bars and restaurants. Other states debating smoking bans this year include neighboring tobacco state North Carolina, along with Kansas, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The first substantial tobacco curb in Virginia is remarkable. The state began growing tobacco 400 years ago and it is home to Philip Morris and its Marlboro cigarette factory, the world's largest.

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