North Carolina Is Latest State To Ban Smoking In Public Places

July 3, 2009

North Carolina has joined the growing number of states imposing strict limits on smoking in public places and places of employment. The new statute prohibits smoking in state government buildings and state owned motor vehicles. It also bans smoking in state psychiatric hospitals.

In addition, smoking is now prohibited in all “enclosed areas” of restaurants and bars.

The statute allows smoking in “designated smoking” guest rooms hotels, motels, or other “lodging establishments.” However, no more than 20% of the rooms may be designated as smoking rooms.

Smoking is also permitted in “cigar bars” so long as the cigar bars are freestanding and the smoke from the bar does not migrate into areas where smoking is prohibited. The term “cigar bar” is clearly defined as an establishment that generates at least 60% of its revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages and 25% from the sale of cigars. It must have a humidor on the premises and prohibit entry to anyone under age 21. Cigar bars will be required to make quarterly reports to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services regarding their revenues. Smoking is also permitted in private clubs.

Persons managing restaurants and bars where smoking is prohibited are required to post no smoking signs, remove indoor ashtrays, and to require anyone who smokes to extinguish his or her tobacco product. If a patron continues to smoke after being advised to stop doing so is subject to a fine of up to $50.00.

Local governments may elect to impose more re-strictive guidelines, so long as they do not conflict with the state statute. Local guidelines may include modestly higher penalties for repeat offenders.

The new law becomes effective January 1, 2010.


7 Responses to “North Carolina Is Latest State To Ban Smoking In Public Places”

  1. An alternate to smoking bans

    Separation of smokers from non-smokers combined with
    air exchange technology is the best solution to this largely
    artificial problem. Authorities should set reasonable standards
    for indoor air quality with technology and monitoring doing the

    Such standards are common in industrial and environmental
    contexts but, to date, no country in the world has set them for
    smoking areas. It’s clear that the reasons are not scientific,
    nor are they economic or technical: they are political.

    As to the annoyance of smoking, it is easily dealt with by the free
    market’s providing what its customers demand. Proper ventilation
    can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not just
    passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious
    contaminants that build up, independent from smoking and
    unnoticed, in smoke-banned environments.

    Two good information sources:

  2. Bob Says:

    Since these bans are all about health, they should be required to put the Chantix and Zyban warning on all of the government issued “No smoking” signs to prevent lawsuits by forcefully coercing residents into using a dangerous product.

  3. Jennifer Says:


  4. carolinason Says:

    WRAL’s website says that only non-profit private clucbs are exempt.

  5. Alan Kelchner Says:

    I was very excited when I heard that North Carolina was finally enacting a smoking ban in public places.

    I don’t fully understand a smoker’s need to smoke. It isn’t a pleasure; it’s an addiction. They want you to believe that smoking isn’t harmful and that it is there right to smoke. Tell that to my mother who was tethered to an oxygen line the last five years of her life because of the damage that 40+ years of smoking caused to her lungs. It was horrible to watch this once vibrant, enegetic person waste away to not being able to take care of herself by the time she was 67. She died at 69, quite young by today’s standards.

    This ban is going to make it more pleasurable for everyone, smokers and non-smokers alike. We can all sit down to a decent meal in a restaurant and not gag on the stench permeating the room from the cigarettes/cigars/pipes. It also lowers the risk of contracting ailments caused by second-hand smoke. Those who already have respiratory ailments will be able to enter establishments they had to stop frequenting because it was just too hard on their condition.

    I think it really says a lot about this state and how it really does care for its general population even when it is one of the largest tabacco producers in the industry. I applaud their initiative to ban smoking and make this state a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

  6. Alan Kelchner Says:

    Addendum to my previous post.

    Apparently I didn’t have all the facts. North Carolina’s ban doesn’t go far enough; it doesn’t ban smoking from work places and there may be other exceptions to the rule. Type in the following link for more information on North Carolina’s smoking ban:

    You should also check out what the Surgeon General’s and the Center for Disease Control’s websites have to say about smoking and the effects of second-hand smoke.

    I am a little disappointed but I am still excited that North Carolina is taking steps to move in the right direction.

  7. Tara Says:

    Having worked in the service industry and having many friends in the service industry, I know that banning smoking in indiana has helped them with their health. I agree that it might be a harsh ban – and I feel there could have been a better solution – but it does help people who work at restaurants and bars.

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