Tobacco

Tarheel State Joins Smoking-Ban Bandwagon

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N.C. Gov. Bev Purdue says she will sign into law a bill the state House of Representatives passed Wednesday that bans smoking in bars and restaurants in the state.

The House approved by a 62-56 vote a version of the smoking ban that had been passed by the N.C. Senate. The measure will make it illegal for restaurant and bar owners to allow smoking in their establishments.

Cigar bars and private clubs will be exempt from the law.

The bill's supporters contend the legislation will protect workers from second-hand smoke. Opponents argue that the state is overstepping its bounds, encroaching on the rights of residents and business owners.

North Carolina has long been the top tobacco-producing state in the country.

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