Raleigh, N.C. — Private clubs such as Bonedaddy’s Hideaway in Raleigh are preparing to go smoke-free starting Saturday when a new smoking ban takes effect.
“We thought it would never be passed, but it was,” said Fred Smith, co-owner of Bonedaddy’s.
Non-profit private clubs, country clubs and cigar bars are exempt from the smoking restrictions. In order for a cigar bar to qualify for the exception, it must satisfy a list of criteria.
The owners of Longbranch, a private club located across the street from Bonedaddy’s, decided to stop allowing smoking before the law goes into effect.
“We had a few people smoking inside, and we had to tell them to put it out,” said co-owner Patrick Dunkle.
Longbranch, on Creekside Drive, was recently remodeled and reopened cigarette-free.
“Why throw smoke in there and nasty it up?” Dunkle said.
Businesses that break the no-smoking law can be fined up to $200 per day, and smokers could get face a $50 fine if they keep smoking after they're told to stop.
Enforcing the law will be driven by complaints from the public.
To file a complaint, people can call the local health department, complete an online form at the SmokeFree.NC.gov Web site or call the N.C. CARE-LINE toll-free at 800-662-7030.
Inspectors will give a restaurant at least two written warnings before imposing a fine.
“Some (people) are just saying, ‘Maybe it is a good thing, maybe it gives me an excuse to quit,’” Smith said.