Smoking Ban Now a Law


With Governor Beverly Perdue’s signature today, Session Law 2009-27 prohibits smoking in restaurants and bars beginning on January 1, 2010.  To the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Perdue, I thank you, my wife thanks you, and most importantly, my children thank you.  The fiction of a non-smoking sections, when they’re adjacent to the cloud of cigarette smoke, will soon be over.  I can eat my meal without worrying about the smell of my clothes or the watering of my eyes or what the smoke is doing to my kids’ lungs.  Some say this will be the beginning of the end for bars, but this now makes me want to hit them more often!  I never thought I’d see the day when this happened in North Carolina — aka Tobacco Road.  Simply amazing.


15 Responses to Smoking Ban Now a Law

  1. Mittany says:

    I love how they say the bars will close down. HELLO!!??? Have you looked at the other states that have bars that passed this legislation IN THE 1980s??? Still going strong.

    (NOT that there is anything CONVOLUTED already about liquor in the Old North State to begin with.

  2. Florida hasn’t had smoking in restaurants for quite some time and so far, so good. No restaurants exploded.

  3. David Williams says:

    I do not smoke, but, I am disappointed in this loss of freedom of choice.

  4. dmccall says:

    I don’t think we really had a big problem. My family simply avoided smokey restaurants (like Crowleys and the 19th Hole). I strongly question the whole health effects of second-hand smoke in situations like a large restaurant. Riding around in a car for 18 years with the parents’ windows up? Yes. However I don’t see a massive lobby against using grills (which convert dripping fats into exploding carcinogenic gasses). I think some of the scare tactics were used by people who agree with me about how awful that smell is.

    I strongly feel that the athletic directors, mayors, and the governors should lobby ESPN to quit calling us (esp. Raleigh) “Tobacco Road”. If tobacco is a big enough enemy to ban smoking in public businesses, then it is not something with which we want to label ourselves.

    Finally, what we will see next year is all nice outdoor patios and decks at restaurants converting to giant clouds of smoke, ruining the current nice experience of outdoor dining.

  5. dt says:

    As an attorney, I am surprised that you are not more concerned about the loss of choice by the business owners. That said, I have no problem with a smoking ban that makes sense, i.e., if children can be there, ban smoking, but if a private club (read Landmark or the Jackpot not Carolina Country Club) wants to allow its patrons to smoke, there shouldn’t be any problem with that IMO. Having lived through one smoking ban while in law school in another state, I can say that most places will not be affected, but the smoking ban will take business away from bars that don’t have patio’s or beer gardens, I expect so called cigar bars will see a jump in business, especially during the winter.

  6. Varmint says:

    My being an attorney has nothing to do with my thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been with my kids in another NC town, where we went out to eat and got stuck next to the smoking area (or were told that the only available seats for the next hour were in the smoking section). We didn’t know the town and the restaurant choices, so to find a more accommodating place wasn’t an option.

    If it’s a private club where the members who sign up know that it’s a smoking place, that’s not a problem at all to me.

  7. feistync says:

    I am soooo psyched about this! If I ever have a kid, he/she won’t repeat my days of waiting tables in Shoney’s smoking section despite my repeated requests not to have to work the section due to my allergies (and inevitable loss of voice). I’m looking forward to NOT being seated in a “non-smoking” section that’s separated from the smoking section by a mere rope, NOT gagging over the smell when I first walk into a place, and NOT feeling ill while eating/drinking at the bar.

  8. Dave says:

    I have to agree with dt. I don’t like smoking in restaurants and bars, but I don’t think a law was needed.
    There’s something to be said for just letting the market decide (which is why most places in this area are non-smoking).
    Yes, you’re inconvenienced when you go to another town, but why should everyone in that area (where obviously everyone who lives there has no problem with smoking establishments, if that’s all there is) have to change so that you have a good dining experience? That’s like saying “I don’t like the noise corduroy makes, so no one should be allowed to wear corduroy”.

  9. beamish says:

    The rich food and drinks (unless you get water) probably do more harm than any smoke you might inhale.

    I think its reasonable for stand-alone bars and bars located in restaurants to allow smoking after 10pm. I get annoyed at a lot of things in restaurants: loud kids, people yelling on phones, drunks, etc. Smokers are pretty far down on the list of annoyances. In fact, I try not to constantly find something to be annoyed by.

    Smokers generally get railroaded on these measures because no smoker is going to go to the General Assembly and protest. Business owners then have to go and defend their property rights. This time, enough transplants elected enough Democrats to push through the ban. At least we have until January 2010.

  10. allison says:

    I lived in Charleston, SC and they passed a similar ban 2 years ago. Charleston is certainly not progressive and I was quite surprised it got passed and the sky hasn’t fallen. Almost everyone I know (even a few smokers) enjoy going out more and probably stay in a bar longer.

    I think it is just a change from societal views on smoking. At this point, the majority of the adult population DOESN’T smoke. At one time there were smoking areas in high schools, we wouldn’t dream of that today.

  11. beamish says:

    what about Donald Trump?

  12. Ann says:

    I am waiting for the day the Harvard experts manage to ban fire pits, fireplaces, camp fires, fireworks, barbeques and leaf burning. After all that smoke is 40 times worse than tobacco smoke. Which according to OSHA studies, have no ill effects on non-smokers because it disapates so much in the air. The government managed to fool all the so-called intelligent people into believing the hype about second hand smoke, so banning all fires should be right around the corner. These Harvard doctors want to protect your children from things such as fire pits and barbeque smoke. Personally I’ll be glad when that happens, it will make these ignorant people’s smoking fears backfire in their face. And they’ll find out what it means to allow the government to take rights away.

  13. steve sando says:

    I live in a state that hasn’t allowed smoking in any public places for years. I thought it was too much, especially for bars, when it happened but I can’t tell how weird it is to go to Europe or a state without a law and see people smoking. The smoke that used to annoy me is absolutely horrific now. You grow accustomed to it and you forget how toxic it feels.

    I know for some it’s a freedom of choice issue but how does you choice to smoke trump my choice not to experience your exhale?

    FWIW I quite after 25 years of a pack and a few a day. My identity was as a smoker. I still like the back of the plane, thinking that’s where the fun people are, smoking…..

  14. David Williams says:

    ^ The state took the rights of the business owner away to decide if he wanted to allow smoking at his place of business. The customer has the right to patronize his business or go somewhere else.

  15. Roger Brown says:

    Well, for all your saying about how happy you are for the smoking ban, let me tell you this. It is WRONG! Sure, you have a right not to be exposed to cigarett smoke, but smokers also have the right to smoke. No one has ever forced you to sit around smokers, whether in a restaurant or a bar. If you dont like having to sit in a smoking section, by all means you can take yourself elsewhere. Where do you feel you have the right to take someones freedom, especially the owner of a business, away. We allow smoking in our business, and that should be our choice, not some governor with a holier than thou attitude. If you dont want to be around smokers, rest assured we won’t force you to come in.

    In other words, you have no more rights than smokers do. Wait, this is the US. Seems none of us will have any before long!

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