Come Jan. 2, smoking in bars and restaurants will be illegal throughout North Carolina, due to a bill signed into law yesterday by Gov. Beverly Perdue.
The ban will prohibit smoking in all bars and restaurants, except for cigar bars and private clubs. Smokers who refuse to put out their cigarettes will face a $50 fine, and managers who’ve been warned twice about stopping smoking will get hit with $200 fines. The ban will also likely shut down the state’s approximately 20 hookah bars.
Many of Asheville’s bars already prohibit smoking inside, though others allow it in a certain section or after 10 p.m.
So, be you a smokers, nonsmoker, bartenders, restaurant owner or anyone else: What do you think about the new law? Is it a needed public health measure or none of the government’s business? How will it affect your daily life? Please tell us in the comment field below.
— David Forbes, staff writer