Group of Wake County Health Leaders Support Smoking Ban
A bill to prohibit smoking in most public workplaces in North Carolina, including restaurants, has the backing of one major tobacco company. But opponents say it infringes on personal rights.Posted — Updated
In its announcement, the group emphasized the dangers of second-hand smoke, particularly inside of bars and restaurants. Smoke-Free Wake leaders cited a 2006 U.S. Surgeon General's report that says people who inhale the smoke are 30 percent more likely to get lung cancer.
The Judiciary Committee passed the ban Tuesday by a 9-4 vote. The measure would prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces in North Carolina, including bars and restaurants. The rules also would apply to private clubs, except those with nonprofit or tax-exempt status.
The measure would be complaint-driven, with local health departments acting on complaints from the public. Violators would first receive warnings.
Despite opposition to previous anti-smoking legislation, the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association doesn't plan to fight the smoking ban.
If the bill makes it through the General Assembly, North Carolina would join 22 other states and Washington, D.C., in banning indoor smoking.
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